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Do keep an eye out for Toni &Guy

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
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on Friday, 28 August 2015
This week I went to the launch of Toni & Guy's newest innovation- the Fluid Metal Styler, a product aimed to keep tresses sleek and chic with its salon quality technology. The event, hosted not far from The Lady Towers, hosted a range of beauty writers and hair enthusiasts drinking champagne and getting their hair done by an on site Toni & Guy stylist.

I was greeted by two representatives of the brand who talked me through their latest product. Its glossy exterior is matched by its iridescent plates, and it even came in a shiny bag with a heat proof mat. The titanium plates of the straightener ensure heat transfer while protecting hair follicles, and at 25mm, they go much beyond straightening. The styler also doesn't snag or irritatingly get caught when you go to curl your hair, as I later found out.

Sipping prosecco and munching on mini quiches, we were entertained by a contortionist who bent herself into unthinkable shapes. In between ogling at the spine-aching poses of the acrobat, I chatted to the girls around the room about where they worked and what they came along for. The space was lit up with purple and blue hues, and bubbles were rampantly bursting out of a tiny machine.

I was then swiftly ushered into a stylist chair where a trendy lady in heels asked me what kind of hairstyle I wanted. I pointed at the girl that was in the chair before me, who had emerged with loose, effortless waves. Within seconds, the stylist was spraying my head with heat protector and parting sections of my hair. As she glided the straightener around my hair she started to tell me a little about her styling career, and all the crazy behind the scenes stories of chaotic events like London Fashion Week. Ten minutes later and a little tussling, my hair was bouncy and full of texture.

Goody bag in hand, I left the event (albeit only staying an hour) feeling like I had just had a spa day.

My daughter is beside herself with grief at the news of One Direction splitting

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 28 August 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,
I am very worried about my 14 year old daughter since the recent news of the impending split of One Direction. She is completely obsessed with them and is now beside herself with grief. Her bedroom is adorned with a huge mural of them, she has One Direction bed linen, curtains, calendars, books etc. She has idolised them since the band were first formed a few years ago, and I just don't know how to deal with her. I do remember how I myself felt when Wham and Bros split, but I don't remember feeling anything like her depth of anguish.

How can I help her come to terms with the news?

Patricia Marie says...

Millions of fans were left heartbroken on hearing the announcement that One Direction are splitting up. Reacting to the break up of a band can feel similar to the end of a relationship or another loss. Grieving fans cope in different ways. Some may sulk or have a good cry. Others could even resort to self-harm or use other destructive ways to cope. Being a fan of any celebrity gives passion and a sense of belonging. It can be exciting to look at their photographs, watch their interviews, follow their tweets and see them perform, making you almost feel part of their lives, which is why this news is so hard for traumatised fans to accept.

Your daughter might find it difficult to concentrate, and may be very tearful or anxious at the moment, finding it hard to think about anything else other than One Direction. If she has never experienced loss before, she could feel overwhelmed. Alternatively, if she has, the band's split may reignite the emotions she felt at that time.

Be careful not to dismiss or minimise your daughter's feelings. Encourage her to talk to you, as this will create an opportunity for her to explore her emotions. Listen, and share how you felt when your idols split, and you may be reminded that your feelings then were actually very similar to hers now. Help her to understand she will feel sad for a while, but that her low mood will soon lift when she becomes more accepting of the situation. It would also be a good idea to encourage your daughter to talk to other fans, as she will gain much strength and comfort from those experiencing the same heartache.

As a fan, she has contributed to the band's success, and even after they split, she can still continue to support them by following the respective lives of each member. It won't be the end of the individuals, just the band. Tell your daughter how brave they are splitting at the height of their fame. Ask her to be happy for them, to wish them luck and look forward to seeing what they can produce as solo artists in the future. Remind her that it may be the end of the group, but her memories of One Direction and their music will forever remain.

Imagination versus knowledge?

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Monday, 24 August 2015
For those who don't follow my blog, I should explain that we've been doing a little globetrotting. If I'm totally honest, it hasn't really been the backpacking + hostel-type of roaming. But there's little more that He and I adore more than showing our Smalls the world-at-large and so this year we tackled parts of Asia.

But this isn't a travel journal post; I'm simply making the point that having just spent a fortnight 24/7 in close proximity (mostly sharing a room) with my tribe, I have plenty of blog fodder for the rest of the year, and beyond.

Mealtimes, long journeys, early mornings, lights out, on the beach and all the bits in between have meant we could delve a bit deeper in our chit chat than manic London life allows.

During one particular meal, Small asked if we thought that imagination was more important than knowledge? I almost choked on my coconut juice as this boy's random thought process throws me every time. And so the debate was opened: I was interested that my Him thought that knowledge was always king as it gives you the power to know how. I disagreed (of course) stating that, within reason, knowledge can be acquired and yet imagination is harder to come by. Surely imagination must be life's differentiator, I ranted on.

But I soon realized why Small was asking this question. He's pretty confident that his vivid imagination is all he needs to get by. I quickly swayed my reasoning and set him on the straight and narrow; there are too many school years for us all to get through...

And I was once more reminded that these discussions (whether or not they are on a sandy beach) are precious and valuable and the essence of family life.

A Level results

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 21 August 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

I am reasonably intelligent, and have worked really hard at school, but somehow have managed to achieve dreadfully low grades in my exams. I have so far managed to avoid revealing my results to my parents, by staying at a friend's for the last few days, but I know I have to tell them, and they are going to be so disappointed in me. I am writing to you as some time ago my mum told me that you had really helped her through a difficult problem she had (she won't tell me what that was, though).

Would they know if I made up my results? Is there any way they could find out?

Patricia Marie says...

It can be difficult to predict the outcome of examinations. Whether a student is confident in their chosen subjects or not, exams can often be so stressful that students are not able to perform at their best. If this happens, and grades are therefore lower than expected, it can be a very upsetting experience.

Your disappointing results have come as a shock, and you are understandably unsure how to deal with telling your parents. However, fabricating your grades, isn't the answer, and could cause severe complications in the future. Nevertheless, I am concerned about your fear of approaching your parents, and wondering if you could share your anxieties with someone you trust who could offer support when you speak to them.

Try to look at this situation from their point of view. Surely far more than the importance of their daughter receiving top grades, would be for them to know that you will make the best of what you did achieve. I expect they would be devastated if they knew how much torment you are suffering.

If you haven't done so already, contact the Exam Results Helpline, which is open every day until 24th August. Their dedicated team can offer advice and guidance, as well as information on potential options that may suit you, such as embarking on a college course, enrolling in a Modern Apprenticeship, or gaining some work experience. The National Careers Service also offer invaluable ongoing support. Instead of dwelling on so much uncertainty, pick up the phone and use these services to help explore plans for your future, which will enable you to feel more in control of your life, and better equipped to speak to your parents.

I need you to know that not making your desired grades may mean looking at alternative options, but it will certainly not make you any less able to achieve what you want. Be proud of yourself for working so hard to obtain the grades you did receive. Life is full of uncertainties, but what you can be sure of is there is a new exciting future ahead. Go ahead and embrace it!

The Exam Results Helpline: 0808 100 8000
The National Careers Service 0800 100 900 www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk

I can't help hoarding

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 13 August 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

I need to do something about my problem. Since my mother died when I was 23, I seem to be unable to throw anything away. I had always been a very organised, sensible person, but after her unexpected sudden death, I initially found I could not bear to part with any of her possessions. It then became that I could not even dispose of anything she might have sat on, or touched, or even just been near. I started buying things I knew she would have liked, because it made me feel closer to her. I kept magazines with articles in which would have interested her. And this has seeped into the rest of my life so that now I discard nothing. My house if full of clothes I never wear, books and newspapers I have never read, packaging, ornaments, worn out bed linen and towels, household appliances that no longer work. The list is endless. Now, at the age of 47, I have very little space in my small house to move around comfortably, and obviously never invite visitors round as they would be horrified at the mess I live in.

I do realise that I need to address my problem, but the enormity of my situation scares me, and I just do not know where to start. Occasionally I make a decision to have a clear out, but then panic sets in, and I leave it yet again. I could not bear it either if my neighbours were ever to know about this. What do I do?

Patricia Marie says...

Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A sufferer may encounter severe distress at the thought of getting rid of their items. Hoarding can seriously affect their functioning on a daily basis, may cause shame or embarrassment, and can lead to limited or no social interaction. As well as being associated with anxiety and depression, hoarders often experience Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

It saddens me that you have been struggling alone with this illness for such a long time. You say you don't know where to start, yet, by opening up and writing to me, you have bravely begun the process of change.

A stressful life event, such as the death of someone close, which relates to your experience, can also trigger or worsen symptoms of hoarding. The items have important emotional significance, serving as a reminder of happier times or representing loved ones. At the time, I doubt you grieved properly for the loss of your mum, and keeping items linked to her offered you great comfort. But the reality is your hoarding has created nothing but misery for you.

With the right help and support, you can learn to embrace precious memories of your beloved mum in a more positive way.

You don't have to deal with this on your own anymore. Open your heart to a trusted friend, and remember that very true saying; a problem shared, is a problem halved. No one will judge you for losing your way - it can happen to us all.

Please contact your GP. Recognition, diagnosis and treatment are crucial to recovery. There are two main types of treatment that will help with this disorder: Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and medication. CBT is extremely effective and can help you to change the thoughts and feelings that drive you to hoard.

For many people anti-depressants may be helpful and may produce more rapid improvement. Intensive treatment can help people with hoarding disorder understand their compulsions and live safer, more enjoyable lives.

I also recommend you contact Mind. This welcoming organisation would be able to allocate you a personal care worker to support you in your recovery, and can also organise practical help to remove the clutter that is causing you so much distress.

Mind: 0300 123 3393. www.mind.org.uk


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