Recently, I’ve been lucky enough to visit, and tour parts of Windsor Castle- but, as I didn’t take any photos, ok thought I’d do “Windsor by numbers” :
1 castle, built in 1070, by William the conquer. Now is one of the main homes of the Queen.
There was 3 group’s of Guards, seen at the changing of the Guard ceremony at 11 that morning.
Between all of us, we shared 4 ice creams-with the Royal mark of Windsor.
5 favorite paintings from the State Apartments- particularly one of the young Queen, soon after the coronation.
8 Canadian Geese.
18 sets of China (at least) , seen in the entrance of the State Apartments, behind glass doors.
30 swans. Possibly more..
200 steps up the Tower (this houses the Royal Archives) .
7.5 million visit the palace each year.

I love Company magazine. I really do.
Last night, I was lucky enough to attend there annual blog ceremony (no, I wasn’t nominated for an award). Here are all my edited pictures from the event!
I had to get the train…living a far distance from London,it was about an hour and a half away…
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The stage were the blog winners were announced..
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Lovely Elderflower tonic water- free drinks all night from the bar! It didn’t really taste good with the Orange jelly bean ice Lilly though…
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Inside my right wrist, I got a free henna tattoo-appropriate, no?
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Also, for free, you could get your hair professionally styled (here’s the business details you need to know! )
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Similarly, for free, you could get a manicure… business details here also:
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I had my nails done- a very pale pink (verging on white) . Proffessional, stylish, I was very satisfied:
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There was free food- in ice cream and sausages, I think I may have eaten my body weight…. drinks also included.
There was also the” wall of gain” -with the new collection from Miss Guided, create a unique, one of a kind outfit, upload to Instagram, and you may win a prize:
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Since I don’t have Instagram, but wanted to be nosy, I took part. Here’s my combination:
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At the end, Company also gave each attendee a goodie bag- for free:
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So not to sound pretenuous, I have a round up of my favorite things from the goodie bag (the BBQ lady was also giving out free ones, with packs of sausages- the next days lunch! ):
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From Left to right:  Hourglass mascara, 20 percent discount from Miss Guided, Witch hazel skin cream, and Barry M nail varnish.
The Buenos bar made also a lovely snack for the long train ride back.
In terms of Journalism, this event was a great way to make contacts (just don’t be shy! ). I meet Lena De Casparis, and had my picture taken with her (features director)-sadly, I accidentally deleted it.
The tickets were 25 pounds- well worth it. I had a great night, so thank you company.

So, last weekend, I went to the lovely town of Canterbury. The town has some historic significance- it is where Thomas Beckett is held as a saint, for his accidental killing by King Henry 6th, and his religious stance on England.
This is the opening entrance to the library which is dedicated to Thomas Beckett:
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The lovely town also had quite a few bookshops-ironically, I was wearing this badge for the duration of the weekend:
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The town is also quite old- this library was built in 1889..and is still used to day. It’s quite a large building ; this photograph only shows a tiny proportion.
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Outside the library, There was also this very cheap ice cream cart:
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And, the town has quite a big emphasis on food- particularly cake. These were just some of my favorite handmade designs:
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There was also a really nice fudge shop near the Cathedral- they gave free samples, and the people serving were just so nice. This is the outside picture :
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We bought one slap of vanilla fudge- quite a chunky slice as well! You could even get some drinking fudge- there was even chilli flavour.. this was the bag (with fudge inside) :
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How was your weekend?

So, how do I introduce these amazing two young women?
The Vagenda is an online magazine, which, in all honesty, is one of the greatest succes stories in publishing. The main editorials the two co- founder’s, Holly and Rhiannon, publish are based round the representation of women in the media. With this also, they have published a book, available May 1st, which we are looking at in this interview:
As the two founders of The Vagenda Magazine, how did you come up with the idea? 
Holly:  We were living together in a damp garret above a pub in London, and we were both avid readers of women’s magazines. Many a Friday night was spent with a bottle of cheap Chardonnay and a stack of Cosmos and Grazias – and eventually, we found ourselves getting really bored and jaded. Holly used to read out columns to Rhiannon in a sarcastic voice because it made them funnier. Eventually, we realised that there might be a wider appeal to making fun of this repetitive content with its silly sex tips and its back pages packed with cosmetic surgery advertorial. When we got our act together and thought about it, the Vagenda was born.
Rhiannon:  Yes, it was after Holly had to move into my airing cupboard because of homelessness that we really got the site off the ground, but we’d had the idea ever since sharing that horrible flat together almost a year previously.
 
How did you physically put The Vagenda online,in terms of design and coding?
Holly:  We made the site through Blogger for free originally, so there was never any money involved. We used a free template and Rhiannon designed around it using Photoshop, which was brilliant. Then, later on, we bought a proper domain name and did a Kickstarter campaign that helped us pay a proper designer to put together a similar but more individualised website.
Rhiannon: We always had a very clear idea of what the website would look like and our amazing web designer Kate was able to pay tribute to that, so we’re really happy with the new site.
Could you describe for us your day to day routine? 
Holly: We both work other jobs in journalism on top of the Vagenda, because the Vagenda is an ad-free, non-monetised labour of love. But most days we’ll both go through a few of the pitches that come to the Vagenda email in between freelance journalism work, and if we find something we particularly love, we’ll edit it and then put it up on the site. We also keep a constant eye on Twitter, and scan the news first thing to make sure there isn’t something big in the headlines that we need to cover on the site. In the evening, one or both of us might buy a magazine and take it home to write a deconstruct in a piss-takey manner for the blog the next morning!
Rhiannon:  Working from home means that you can stay in your pyjamas until 5pm but it also means that you can binge watch Girls if you get bored, so it can be bad for productivity. I usually get out of my pyjamas at about 5pm and will go to meet a friend, just to keep me from going insane. Twitter is great but it’s no replacement for a human face.
What is the purpose of The Vagenda? 
Holly:  At the beginning, the purpose was to make people laugh and to challenge some latent misogyny which had become so entrenched in the media. Now that we have so many pitches and articles from other writers, we also see its purpose as giving women and girl writers a platform for their views and their experiences. We cover candid anecdotes about genital warts and abortions, as well as serious political writing and fun pieces about fashion. So we hope the Vagenda can be an accessible magazine for women that is interesting to read and doesn’t stereotype or advertise in the way that other print mags on the shelves do.
Rhiannon:  We intended it as a funny media watchdog with a feminist slant, but it’s grown so much since then. Some of the first person stories that our contributors have sent in have been amazing, and I hope they help others feel less alone. It’s still a media satire blog but we like to think we cover other things too, perhaps things that traditional magazines aren’t all that interested in.
Does the website have anything to do with feminism? 
Holly: The website is undoubtedly feminist, although we didn’t set out to explicitly create ‘a feminist site’. We set out to challenge the media and to write interesting content for women. It does attack sexist stereotypes, and it does question the way in which women are portrayed – so yes, it is a feminist pursuit in that way.
Rhiannon: We didn’t really know that ‘internet feminism’ existed so were somewhat surprised when we started being seen in those terms, but the website was always intended as a counter-point to media sexism
Are you both feminists?
Holly: We both identify as feminists, believing as we do in complete gender equality.
Rhiannon: Hell yeah!
 
How do you source contributions? 
Holly: We’re lucky enough to get a number of pitches and articles a day from interesting and engaged women and girls, ranging in age from 13 right up to – at one point – 85! But if we think there’s a particular issue that needs covering which people have mentioned to us, but we lack expertise or personal experience with (for instance, in the case of the Vagenda piece on the weave), then we usually use Twitter to try and find a willing and more appropriate writer.
Rhiannon: We also have a submissions section on our website that gives some helpful tips for pitching
 
In terms of online presence, how did you make yourselves so well known?
Holly: The Vagenda became a literal overnight success, much to our surprise! We had no social media presence for the magazine or strategy; we just started the blog because we thought of it as an interesting project for ourselves. People sharing the content were responsible for its success, so we owe everything to our readership. Obviously, once we saw how many people were reading and sharing the articles, we did set up our Twitter account and kept regularly updating the site.
Rhiannon: It was a total surprise. We only thought our mums would read it. People were sharing articles on Twitter and I think that’s how the momentum started. Then a stock image post I made called ‘Women Looking Remorseful After Sexual Encounters’ went viral.
How did the idea for your new book The Vagenda start out? 
Holly: Within a week or so of the blog being profiled in the media after its initial internet success, we were approached by a number of literary agents willing to help us compile a book. After meeting a few, we chose our excellent agent Diana and she helped us to prepare a blueprint for the book we wanted to write. After that, we sent our proposal to publishers and chose a supportive publisher who wanted to give us complete creative control – we knew we wanted to take the central themes from the blog and do deeper media research than we’d been able to do before, and we kept adding things in right up until publication because the media moves so fast.
Rhiannon: We chose the topics that we felt had resonated with readers and went into more depth. We felt that there was room for that to exist in book format, as everything on the internet is much more ‘rapid response’ to such and such story. It gave us a chance to have a broader scope
For our readers who may not have read it, could you tell us a little bit about what the book is about? 
Holly: The book is divided into chapters that discuss broad themes – sex, beauty, body problems, lad culture, the fashion industry – and explores how those are presented by women’s media. We take examples from the 1920s right up to the present day, and pepper those with our own (sometimes completely embarrassing) personal anecdotes about growing up reading these mags in the nineties. We then explore what it means to be a woman today, in reality and in the words of the Daily Mail’s sidebar of shame, and hope to equip readers with the critical tools to cut through some of the most insidious bullshit.
Why did you choose such a distinctive picture for the front of the book? 
Holly: The Vagenda is all about satire, and the book cover is distinctly satirical. We chose to take an image that looks like your traditionally thin, airbrushed, white woman, with ‘the Vagenda’ ripped out of that with shreds of magazine editorial around it. It’s subvertising, and we hope it shows how, in the book, we’re taking the conventions of the media and turning them on their head.
Rhiannon: This is going to sound really pretentious, but I wrote my thesis on an art group called the Situationists. They were really into subverting existing images, and also since doing the Vagenda people had sent us lots of funny pictures of sexist billboards that had been disrupted by feminists, so I was inspired by that.
 
Will we ever see a sequel?
Holly: Who knows? At the moment, we just want to be able to take some time out and maybe enjoy a chilled glass of wine as friends together, rather than diving straight back in to another demanding project. We love and are proud of the book we’ve produced, and are very much concentrating on that right now.
Rhiannon: Wine sounds good.
Would you ever co- produce a book with another organization, such as Everyday Sexism? 
Holly: Again, it’s far too early to tell. We are friends and great admirers of Laura Bates, as well as so many other admirable women in innumerable feminist organisations. But whether that would ever translate into joint books or projects is something we’re just not in a position to consider at the moment.
Rhiannon: Laura is brilliant and tireless and a friend of ours, but I think we’ll probably all need a holiday first and foremost!
What are your handbag essentials? 
Holly: House keys, credit card, phone, music. Who needs anything more than that? Maybe a black eyeliner, which covers up so many sins and makes bags under your eyes look intentional.
Rhiannon: Credit card, e-cig (am trying to give up real fags), a book, and yes, black eyeliner. Sorry it’s boring but I’m of the Nora Ephron school of thought – a massive bag just impedes your movement, not to mention that you can never bloody find anything in there
Do you have a mantra? 
Holly: ‘Shy bairns get nowt.’ That’s a Geordie phrase that roughly translates into, ‘If you don’t ask, you never get.’ Over the last few months, the phrase ‘If you’re not being criticised, you’re probably not doing anything’ has become increasingly important as well!
Rhiannon: “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.”
― Dorothy Parker
For anyone, do you have any tips? 
Holly: Let go of the classic pressure women feel to get everyone to like them. It is a universal truth that you will never get everyone to like you, personally or professionally – and attempting to make it true is a massive waste of your time and emotional energy. Accept that you’ll piss some people off, accept fair criticism from people you respect, and ignore everyone else in favour of having fun.
Rhiannon: That’s good advice actually, Holly. I should probably take it.
One final random question: Do you have any guilty pleasures? 
Holly: We try to steer away from the term ‘guilty pleasures’ in general, because pleasures aren’t really pleasures if you’re expected to feel guilt about them, and the term is almost always only applied to women. Having said that, I would have possibly said my One Direction onesie if pushed – although, on second thoughts, I feel no guilt about that.
Rhiannon: Sex and the City. Most feminists seem to hate it, perhaps understandably. I know being sent an unsolicited Oscar de La Renta dress by a wealthy Russian is not the meaning of true and everlasting love, but the programme spoke to a younger, shallower me and I can never bring myself to furnish upon it the disdain it deserves. I see myself as a bit of a Carrie, I think.*
* This is a joke. I am Samantha.


You can order the book here. 

It’s time to meet the (relatively) new columnist for GLAMOUR, as well as TV presenter,  Journalist, and Novelist Dawn O’porter; writer of “Paper Areoplanes”, and “The Booby trap”, as well as the spouse of Chris O’dowd, you have the opportunity to learn about her working process;
As a Writer/ Author/ Columnist/ TV presenter, you’re very multi talented. Could you tell us a little bit about how you started out in the field of Journalism specifically?
It was a bit of an accident really, and I use the term ‘journalist’ very loosely. I always wanted to write because I wanted to have an opinion in the public eye. I worked behind the scenes in TV for a long time, and then the opportunity to make documentaries came up I grabbed it. That lead on to more writing opportunities too, but I had written long before I was on TV. Not a lot of it had been published, but at least I tried. I just maintained it by continuing to write and not just doing the TV stuff.  So I pitched articles all the time and eventually got a column. It was important to me to never just be a TV presenter. Writing always came first.
Did you have an interest in Journalism from a young age?
Like I said I always wanted to be a writer, and non fiction was where I started, so yes. I once got a temp job on reception at The Independent and I did everything i could do get writing work. I sent stuff to all of the bosses there, and got a job writing for a magazine called Girl About Town, but it went bust a few weeks later so that was really upsetting. My big moment…gone.
For blog readers, do you have any advice about how to write a cover letter?
Imagine how many cover letters an editor gets. So do what you can to make yours stand out. Avoid the obvious words like ‘innovative’ and ‘bright’ and use your skills as a writer to create something interesting. Dont write too much, these people are busy. And if you are pitching a specific idea then make sure your take on it sounds unique.
What was your first job in journalism?
 Well i wrote articles and sold them to Company Magazine and The Sunday Times Style. it was a long time before i got a regular job, maybe ten years. it takes a lot of effort and time.
 How did you come to be a columnist for GLAMOUR?
I’d done a few features for them and I think Jo Elvin just really liked my style. We had got to know each other a bit and one day she took me out for lunch and offered me the column. That was a very happy day, I was honoured to be asked.
Whilst working for UK publications, and living in the US, is it difficult to manage time differences?
I have to wake up pretty early as we are 8 hours behind, and I need a few hours with the UK before everyone leaves work. So i get up around 7 then lie in bed with my laptop drinking coffee until about 10. Sometimes that’s really nice, sometimes it’s really stressful and not a nice way to wake up because a lot of people are asking a lot of me. But most of the time it’s nice. Then I work all day and send off some work, and by the time I wake up it’s usually been read and I may or may not have notes. It’s nice that by the time I get to the afternoon the UK is going to bed so I know I wont get hassled for anything for the rest of the day. I have no complaints about the time difference.
Would you say it is advisable for Journalists to keep a notebook with them at all times?
It’s the first rule of being a writer.
 What are your handbag essentials for a day at the office?
Its been a long time since I worked in an office. But if I did, I’d have lip balm, my phone, a packet of crisps and a tampon. What else do you need? Oh, money for a drink after work, of course.
 Specifically, what do you draw inspiration from,  when creating articles/features/ novels/ documentaries?
This will sound naff, but it’s all drawn from how I feel about something. I write about, and make TV shows about, things I care about, or that interest me. I have to pour so much of myself into my work that it wouldnt work any other way. I feel lucky that I have a career where I can pick my topics. It never gets boring.
Do you have any tips?
Just write. Relentlessly. And don’t worry about what anyone else is writing. If you have an idea and someone does it, you can still do it but put your spin on it. When I did Super Slim Me where I dieted down to a Size Zero, two other programs were made doing exactly the same thing, but I just did mine my way, and thats all that matters. Also be determined but dont be annoying. Desperation and hassling busy people isn’t the right way to do it. Presenting busy people with something they cant turn down is the way to go. Work hard, it will pay off.
 Random question: Do you like Quiche?
Um..it’s OK. I like warm home made quiche, but cheaper shop bought ones are a bit rubbery;)  I took this question very seriously.
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Her official website
Paper Areoplanes on Amazon