Maybe it’s because summer is approaching, and with it my dreams of diving from a yacht into turquoise Mediterranean water.
Maybe it’s because blue, white and stripes channel that effortless Parisian chic most of us hope to emulate.
Or maybe it’s just because no matter how you wear it or what you wear it with – and there are almost limitless options – this colour combination never fails to look classy and cool.
(painted house in Costa Nova, Portugal, via)
My grandma died of breast cancer in the mid 90s when she was 76 and I was 18.
She was the only grandparent I knew, the others all lost their lives before I was born or when I was tiny.
She was too young to go. I was too young really to have stopped being self-absorbed and properly appreciated having her. I’ve since realised the things she did for us, how special it was that we painted together, how I’ve inherited her talent and love of dancing.
There’s much said about female cancers being hereditary, and Angelina Jolie’s piece in the New York Times has brought it all right to the forefront.
(image: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.com via Guardian)
Thankfully my mum is currently very healthy but I do worry if cancer, this cruel disease, will take her too soon or if it will shorten my life.
Jolie had a test which found she had a faulty gene, putting her at 87 per cent risk of developing breast cancer and 50 per cent risk of ovarian cancer.
On average, those with a defect like Jolie’s have a 65 per cent chance of getting breast cancer. Only some breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation.
There’s a lot of talk about Jolie’s bravery and I won’t dispute that. She is doing a vital job in raising awareness of the hereditary nature of some cancers and the possibility of genetic testing. In how much she gives back to the world, philanthropic Jolie stands head and shoulders above most of Hollywood.
But I feel a slight unease, as I did when Jade Goody was fighting cervical cancer. Goody also played a vital role in raising awareness and encouraging women to have smear tests. But my unease is because, overnight, an issue suddenly becomes so much more pressing and paramount simply because a famous person is affected.
After Jolie’s article, my Twitter feed quickly filled with #journorequests for women who had chosen a preventive double mastectomy. Why are those women so much more important and interesting today than they were last week?
Courageous as Jolie is, as is any woman opting for such a procedure and the lengthy period of surgery she had to endure, few would have taken a different decision when faced with those alarming odds. Now her chances of developing breast cancer have dropped to under 5 per cent and her children are far less likely to have to grow up without a mother.
As Jolie put it: “Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.”
Famous people are not any braver than the many women up and down the country who are battling cancer every single day, who are scared but showing strength, who are making difficult, life-changing decisions and dealing with the impact of a diagnosis on their income, relationships, families, plans and dreams.
In certain ways, cancer may be easier to deal with for people in a position of privilege. Jolie acknowledges that even having a test is out of the question for many women in America because of the $3,000 cost.
In the UK, you can have a genetic test on the NHS if you have a strong family history – two or three close female relatives – of breast cancer. There’s probably somewhere you can pay for a test if you have at least a few hundred quid to spare.
As a woman your chances of developing breast cancer are, unfortunately, worryingly high, even without a faulty gene. Out of every 100 women 10 will develop breast cancer by the time they are 80.
Cancer charities are always top of my donation list because although we’ve come a long way in understanding and care, we still need more research into causes, symptoms and treatment.
So let’s praise strong women like Jolie but not forget the women closer to home who are fighting their own battle or supporting someone who is.
Let’s all keep doing our bit, whether you take part in the Race for Life, have a few quid going to a charity from your bank account every month or wear a pink ribbon or a T-shirt.
Fashion Targets Breast Cancer is great way to support the cause. Now in its 17th year, the campaign raises money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. You just buy a piece from your favourite high street store – Topshop, Warehouse and River Island are among those taking part – and at least 30% goes to the charity. Browse the lookbook or click below to shop.
Yorkshire is always being named among the best places to holiday in Britain. 216 million people visit the region every year.
Yorkshire folk are proud of their roots but sometimes even we take for granted what’s under our noses.
I was born, grew up and have nearly always lived here but there are still things I want to do and see but haven’t.
This is my list of what I love in Yorkshire, what’s on my ‘to do’ list… and what I admit I sometimes overlook!
You could spend weeks, months exploring Yorkshire. When I get chance I love walking and cycling but every time I do I think: I don’t do this enough. We have three national parks (Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and the Peak District), three areas of outstanding natural beauty (North Pennines, Nidderdale and the Howardian Hills) and a stunning rugged coastline. The winding coastal streets of Staithes, Robin Hoods Bay, Whitby and Runswick Bay, all in North Yorkshire, are wonderful for getting lost in.
An exhibition in Yorkshire is celebrating a time when British popular culture first captivated the world and features creations by such icons of the 20th century as Andy Warhol and Vivienne Westwood.
I’ve been spying these kinds of awesome ear cuffs around the net for a while.
(via Pinterest/Who What Wear)
I waited faithfully for a long time for them to start appearing on the British high street but, alas, they didn’t come (or at least I didn’t see them).
So it was one Saturday, before I had an evening cocktail session planned, that I set about making my own. I had decided on my outfit that morning and knew an ear cuff would be a perfect fit. Read more »
Florals have been around for a while but they’re everywhere this season.
You may remember it was one of the key trends I picked out for spring and summer.
They’re even being worn head to toe – accessories and all – which may be a little much for me. I’m not normally one for bearing blooms but I’m certainly being tempted by some of the pretty prints out there.
So often we operate at full speed, taking very little ‘me’ time and then wonder why we feel so completely shattered.
Recently Anna and I spent a heavenly day selfishly indulging ourselves at Titanic Spa in the village of Linthwaite in Huddersfield.
I saw this cheery Manchester town house on Apartment Therapy recently. It’s owned by Sophie and Nick who live there with their young children Ivy and Sylvie – and Winifred the cat.
It’s a masterclass in dressing your home if your interior tastes are a mismatch with your bricks and mortar. This is a Victorian property filled with finds from the mid-20th century.
It’s fearless, fun and experimental. The owners’ mantra is: “Don’t hold back. If you love it, it will find a home somewhere.”
One of the best moments of my wedding day was the moment I stepped into church with my dad and saw all the people we love gathered under one roof.
That moment will be the first time the guests clap eyes on the bride but it’s also the first time the bride gets a look at her wedding. Until then you might have only seen your decorations in a box in your house and just imagined what they would look like on the big day.
We often give a great deal of thought to the reception décor and details: table plan and numbers, centrepieces, favours… But is the ceremony décor something of an afterthought? These ideas for aisle styling show it shouldn’t be.
The right styling sets the perfect atmosphere in which to say your vows and gives guests a taste of how your reception might look.
As summer approaches, I love adorning my wrists with racks of colour.
These bright bracelets take minutes to knock up, you can get that festival feel by wearing several at once and they will go with virtually any casual outfit – all you need is the right coloured cord.