Saturday, 27 February 2016

Inspiration Station: 27/2/16

Sorry about the slight delay in posts; I've been busy. Mostly doing good things, thankfully.

Articles I've Enjoyed

Things Introverts Absolutely Love
Never did I think I'd be linking to an article from Cosmopolitan. But I stumbled across this list on Pinterest, and it made me smile. It's really, really accurate for me. (Apart from watching House Hunters. If I'm going to watch crap-ish telly, I like Storage Hunters. Or Sin City Motors.)

Be An Unapologetic, Badass Body Love Warrior
Need I say more?

How to Maintain Bright Coloured Hair
Timely advice from Just Keep Brains, one of my favourite blogs. My hair's faded from lilac back to silvery-blonde, and when I scrape together enough cash to top up the colour, I'm hoping to make it last longer with Ramona's top tips.

We Want Control of Our Bodies
A short, thought-provoking piece about data exhaustion.

Forever Nomad: How to Really Make the World Your Home
As my Facebook and Tumblr friends may already know, my partner and I are planning a trip together in 2018, so as a newbie traveller I've been doing a lot of reading up on the nomadic life. This article was realistic without being intimidating.


Recommended Reading


  • Stuffocation by James Wallman. I've been getting more interested in minimalism lately, but this book takes a slightly different angle on things, showing us the advantages of 'experientialism' instead - spending money and time on experiences instead of material things. Not without flaws, but interesting and quite inspiring. 
  • the Courtney Crumrin series by Ted Naifeh. Dark, funny, and cute.
  • I've been looking back at some early issues of Girl Genius. To be honest I'd forgotten how appalling the art is in some of the early installments so I have had a bit of a giggle, but I still love the series. So. Much.

Listening To

  • Building Steam by Abney Park
  • Too Close by Alex Clare
  • Hideaway by Kiesza
  • This Hollow World by Johnny Hollow
  • (Currently playing: Psychomorph/We Feel Naked by Purple Fog Side)

Lusting Over

  • Don't Tell Me To Smile T-shirt from Feminist Apparel (guess who has a severe case of Resting Bitchface).
  • Anything and everything from Frank Body. Give me the coffee-scented everything and no one gets hurt.

Geeking Out

Got to seeing Deadpool and Star Wars: The Force Awakens this month and loved both, with a semi-obsessive platonic passion that I normally reserve for other people's pets. 
Have also been watching the new X Files series. I was so excited when I saw it was going to be back on screens during my lifetime, but I have to be honest... I'm not quite feeling it yet. Scully is still my hero, though. Bless you, Gillian Anderson.
I also got wind of Neil Gaiman's Likely Stories being filmed for TV. Oh, be still, my heart. I don't have Sky, so if you do, and you live near me and know me reasonably well, expect me to be knocking on your door with a beseeching expression at some point fairly soon. I also did not know that Gaiman's How to Talk to Girls at Parties is in production as a movie. Scuse me whilst I lose my shit.


Style: Icons and Current Ponderings

  • I recently re-watched the film Mama, and I have to say I'm loving Jessica Chastain's whole look here. (I really can't pull off that eye make-up, though. I did try. Just looked like an angry panda. Sad times.)

My Month

It's been a busy one! L-R: Writing fanfic in Nerd HQ (aka my bed); my unread book piles; playing Teenage Kicks, one of the two songs I can just about make recogniseable; off to see Star Wars with my favourite human; new jammies; being a proud new auntie with the gorgeous Eira; a blanket fort I made and watched UFO documentaries in; some Froud sketches for drawing practise; a fascinator made by my talented internet friend Xanthy.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Is Anyone Else Obsessed With Magical London or is it Just Me?

I really think I should talk about books more. The thing is, I am not a great book reviewer. If I like a book, and I mean really like a book, I am hard-pressed to do anything more than babble about HOW MUCH I like it. To paraphrase a line from Caitlin Moran's How to Build a Girl, I'm an enthusiast, not a critic. That said, I started this blog largely for my own amusement, and as such it's my space, and I can babble incoherently as much as I like. Hopefully, you might be into the same stuff as me, and we can babble together. If not, don't say you weren't warned.

My favourite stories are fantasy; urban fantasy to be more specific. And to be even more specific, the kind of urban fantasy that suggests (whether subtly and slyly, or in-your-face boldly) that the world of magic exists just outside, or just alongside ours, like the flipside of a coin, and that the act of stepping from one to the other might be so simple as to be almost overlooked. That something so small as a change in the light, a crack in the pavement, an alleyway you've never seen before, could open up one's eyes to possibilities - and dangers - bigger and stranger and wilder than you ever dreamed about.

I have a particular fondness for paranormal and magical takes on cities, alternate Londons most of all. Partly because I love London - of all the cities I have ever set foot in it remains quite possibly the strangest; not the prettiest, or the most glamorous, but the quirkiest, and it has been a goal of mine for quite some time to explore it more and spend more time there - and partly because a decade or so ago I was in a bad mood, and took myself to the bookshop, and bought a book called Neverwhere on a whim. It was the first book I ever read by Neil Gaiman, and whilst it may not appeal to everyone, and it may not be perfect, it was everything I could possibly have wanted in a story and remains so to this day.

Neverwhere set me on a personal quest to find and devour every book about alternate Londons that I could possibly find, and I feel I've been making good headway. (However, I still live in hope that one day someone might write a Field Guide to London Below. Hint hint, Mr. Gaiman.) I thought, in the spirit of starting to blog more about books (and fangirling like a loon, as per usual), I'd start with a rundown of my favourite alternate Londons, and I'd be delighted if you guys could recommend me some of yours (other cities also welcome!).

1. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
Obviously. (I am wearing my Old Bailey's Birds and Information T-shirt as I write this.) There's also a graphic novel, TV series (which preceded the book, but the book's better), radio dramatisation, a sequel short story (How the Marquis Got His Coat Back), even a range of Neverwhere-inspired perfumes from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.

"Under the streets of London there's a world most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, and pale girls in black velvet. Richard Mayhew is a young businessman who is about to find out more than he bargained for about this other London."


2. Kraken by China Mieville.
The first book by this author I happened to stumble across in a secondhand bookstore - immediately I was hooked, and have been collecting Mieville's 'New Weird' works ever since. This one starts with an incident of squid theft.

"Deep in the research wing of the Natural History Museum is a prize specimen, something that comes along much less often than once in a lifetime: a perfect, and perfectly preserved, giant squid. But what does it mean when the creature suddenly and impossibly disappears? For curator Billy Harrow it's the start of a headlong pitch into a London of warring cults, surreal magic, apostates and assassins."

3. A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin.
I have a bit of a character crush on Matthew Swift. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't appreciate it, but it's not going away. Also, I love, love, love Kate Griffin's incredibly visual, descriptive writing style. And the concept of urban sorcerers. Almost perfect, IMO.

"Enter a London where magicians ride the Last Train, implore favours of The Beggar King and interpret the insane wisdom of The Bag Lady. Enter a London where beings of power soar with the pigeons and scrabble with the rats, and seek insight in the half-whispered madness of the blue electric angels. Enter the London of Matthew Swift, where rival sorcerers, hidden in plain sight, do battle for the very soul of the city . . ."

4. Sixty-One Nails by Mike Shevdon.
A magic London. With faeries. Thank you, Mike Shevdon.

"Sixty-One Nails follows Niall Petersen, from a suspected heart attack on the London Underground, into the hidden world of the Feyre, an uncanny place of legend that lurks just beyond the surface of everyday life."

5. Fated by Benedict Jacka.
If anyone can point me in the direction of a fanfic wherein Alex Verus meets Matthew Swift, that'd be GREAT.

"In the heart of Camden, where rail meets road meets leyline, you might find the Arcana Emporium, run by one Alex Verus. He won't sell you a wand or mix you a potion, but if you know what you're looking for, he might just be able to help. That's if he's not too busy avoiding his would-be apprentice, foiling the Dark, outwitting the Light, and investigating a mysterious relic that has just turned up at the British Museum."

6. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (sold as Midnight Riot in the US).
To be honest, I am such a magical London fanatic that I snatched this off the bookshelf based on the title alone. It was in the fantasy section. The title had the word 'London' in it. I hate to use the phrase 'no-brainer', but it really was.

"I'm a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden ... and there's something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair."

7. Un Lun Dun by China Mieville.
I've read some really mixed reviews for this book. It's aimed at perhaps a younger audience than some of the others, but I really liked it. It's good fun. I especially liked the 'bookaneers' - adventurous extreme librarians hunting down lost books.

"Zanna and Deeba are two girls leading ordinary lives, until they stumble into the world of UnLondon, an urban Wonderland where all the lost and broken things of London end up . . . and some of its lost and broken people too."

8. The City's Son by Tom Pollock.
An excellent debut, rich in detail. Again, perhaps aimed more at a YA audience but I really enjoyed some of the ideas.

"Hidden under the surface of everyday London is a city of monsters and miracles, where wild train spirits stampede over the tracks and glass-skinned dancers with glowing veins light the streets. When a devastating betrayal drives her from her home, graffiti artist Beth Bradley stumbles into the secret city, where she finds Filius Viae, London's ragged crown prince, just when he needs someone most."


Honourable Mentions and Not-Quite-Londons:

The Narrows by James Brogden
This is set in Birmingham, but other than that *ahem* minor detail, it fits in so well on this list I couldn't not mention it. Tantalisingly surreal; well worth a look.

"There are places where the skin of the world is thin. Here, miracles walk the streets, and nightmares haunt the alleyways. Bex belongs to a hidden society of misfits, homeless, and runaways who live in the Narrows - the hidden paths that lie behind even the darkest of alleyways."

Dream London by Tony Ballantyne.
I liked this, but not as much as I wanted to. The characterisation wasn't great and the ending failed to satisfy (although I note that a sequel, Dream Paris, has just popped up, so that might help). However, it's fun, clever and very entertaining.

"Captain Jim Wedderburn has looks, style and courage by the bucketful. He's adored by women, respected by men and feared by his enemies. He s the man to find out who has twisted london into this strange new world, and he knows it. But in Dream London the city changes a little every night and the people change a little every day."

King Rat by China Mieville.
Mr. Mieville clearly likes his alternate Londons. This is his debut novel, and whilst I thoroughly enjoyed it - a nicely grimy take on the magic city - I didn't like it as much as the other two Mievilles that did make my hotlist.

"Something is stirring in London’s dark, stamping out its territory in brickdust and blood. Something has murdered Saul’s father, and left Saul to pay for the crime. In the night-land behind London’s fa├žade, in sewers and slums and rotting dead spaces, Saul must learn his true nature."

London Falling by Paul Cornell.
I got this for Chistmas! It is most often compared to Rivers of London since it's heavy on the police procedural, but it's much, much darker and genuinely scary. Personally, not as whimsical as I like my fantasy to be, but that's only a matter of taste.

"As the group starts to see London’s sinister magic for themselves, they have two choices: panic or use their new abilities. Then they must hunt a terrifying supernatural force the only way they know how: using police methods, equipment and tactics."

So - what would you add to this list? Can't wait to hear what you guys recommend! :)

Sunday, 14 February 2016

It's OK to be a Mess: A Valentine's Rant

I have conflicting feelings about Valentine's Day. Yes, I cringe when I walk around the shops and see the amount of awful commercial crap we're supposed to want our significant other to spend money on. And I dislike the idea that we should have a specific day to spoil our loved one(s). I don't need an excuse to buy gifts or go out for dinner. That said, if you provide me with an excuse, I will take it, and my partner feels much the same - which is the main reason that we have celebrated Valentine's Day every year without fail since we got together, even if our celebration is simply exchanging gifts and proceeding to shove pizza in our faces in front of the Xbox. [Tangent: I used to hate the expression 'partner' as it sounds like we do business together. Then I realised it could also imply that we are a crime-fighting duo, and came to like it.]

One thing that particularly annoys me about V-Day is how many magazines and retailers assume that we of the feminine persuasion will require fresh garments for this particular day. Bollocks am I spending my ever-dwindling cash supply on a brand new dress (red, natch) for a single date when I have umpteen dresses already. Yes, so I'm a miser. And probably being overly picky. After all, many women genuinely enjoy spending time on their appearance far more than I do. However, it does seem a bit one-sided - no one is expecting 'the guys' to buy a new suit or shirt or whatever for every date (when I Googled 'Valentine's Day outfits', 'for dogs' came up before 'for men'). I don't know where men's hard-earned cash is intended to go, but it's not on an accessories wishlist for Valentine's Day.

And while we're on the subject of funneling women's money into weird concepts, I hate this 'effortless' thing, where we're supposed to use a gazillion creams, implements, hours and pain for the end result of convincing people that we haven't bothered. IMO, you know what's more efficient? You guessed it - not bothering. OK, so my version of effortless is a far cry from Caroline-de-Maigret-on-a-moped and more pyjamas-at-one-in-the-afternoon-with-a-half-inch-of-leg-hair, but at least I haven't had to waste hours of precious life slathering myself with goodness-knows-what and trying to perfect the art of 'undone' hair.

So, OK, I probably won't be claiming the title of sexiest sexpot anytime soon. But I like smelling nice. I like nice underwear. I exfoliate like a champ (mostly with sugar scrubs, because who doesn't like a snack that makes your skin soft?). And yes, I do shave, and I have been known to wear heels and a nice outfit (with no rips in!) from time to time. I do not mind being sexy for my SO. It's a two-way street. He wears nice cologne, goes to the gym, provides endless reassurance for my anxious self and does not roll his eyes at my kinks. Conversely, he does not freak out if I have hairy legs, cut all my hair off from time to time, have chipped nails or calloused fingertips from butchering the hard work of honest musicians on my guitar.

Whilst all of this is well and good, I do not need or want to be universally 'fuckable'. If you can't handle me at my most feral, you don't get me at my Dita Von Teese. I am not here to be pretty or admired. I am here to Do Things. Those things range from travelling the world to watching Game of Thrones with a dressing gown over my clothes (for the snuggles). They do not involve dieting, waxing (eek!) or having certain unmentionable body parts bleached (who even THINKS of these things?).

My favourite thing about my relationship (or rather, one of the things) is that I get to be real. Sometimes, that's messy. I'm not cute 24/7. I have a body, with all its accompanying functions and needs. I get anxious, I get stressed, I get irritable, I'm not docile, I'm not the mythical 'pretty' cry-er. Hey, he's not perfect either. But the thing is, we show up for each other, even when it's not pretty. He champions my right to be imperfect. It's OK to be a mess. To not be 'effortlessly' put together, at all times.
Dorks.
It's not commercial, it's not hearts and flowers, it doesn't put money into anybody's pockets. But it's fun, it's loving, it's authentic, and that's worth celebrating. On any day of the year.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Life as an Ex-Goth; or, 12 Ways to Survive a Subcultural Identity Crisis

I have mentioned on numerous occasions the time in my life I think of as the Flailing Years, when I moved from being an enthusiastic-if-slightly-clueless Goth girl to, well, whatever it is I am today. With hindsight, progressing from one style and sense of identity to another is not, in the grand scheme of things, a very big deal. At the time, it was, for various reasons, petrifying and somewhat hideous. Mistakes were made; money squandered; even the most patient loved ones grew tired of hearing me wail 'I don't know who I am any mooooooore!', not least because the only advice they could give ('Just wear what you want!') seemed to fall on deaf ears. (You can't just wear what you want when you haven't the foggiest idea what you want in the first place!)

I don't know whether or not anyone else shifting between styles has found themselves tripped up by an all-or-nothing approach to things like I did; or has stayed up into the wee hours endlessly trying to dissect - both out loud and in journals - what the hell kind of person they actually, deep down, really wanted to be. But I'm assuming that there are more of us out there! And for those people, having flailed my way through the deepest depths of self-absorption, frustration and confusion, I can now present a few tips that helped, at least for me - stuff I wish someone had said to me at the time. I'm sure a lot of this will sound really obvious to other people, but it wasn't to me!

This is also a last, personal catharsis - with this post, I put the introspective self-obsession of the Flailing Years far, far behind me, where it can stay.

  1. I cringe, now, to think of the amount of money I frittered away in a panicked search for a new identity. (I think THIS is pretty, therefore it is something I like, therefore I must HAVE it.) Guess what? You can't buy a new you. What will actually happen, if you're much like me, is that you'll end up with a pile of extremely strange clothes - none of which go together, most likely - and in a year's time you'll end up getting rid of half of it whilst wondering why you didn't buy a new computer game or a weekend away instead. During that year, you will become increasingly stressed that none of these purchases actually made you feel any better, and go on to feel thoroughly suffocated by the amount of random, unwearable stuff you now have. So first and foremost, limit your clothing purchases. If your wardrobe fills you with unhappiness and lingering dread, then OK, go out and buy a few things that you could stand to wear right now. But other than that, put down the credit card. 
  2. Instead of buying beautiful clothes that you will look at in awe and never, ever wear, spend the money on something better. Better, you ask? What's better? Something that's meaningful to you. What are your passions? Your hobbies? Get a new book or a new moisturiser or cactus or pair of headphones. Take a trip somewhere, to a gig or a new gallery. Get away from thinking about style and subcultures for a bit. If you really, really don't know what's important to you right now, go basic. Take yourself to see a film. Buy yourself a coffee or a box of doughnuts (I have a loose definition of meaningful, all right?!). Why? Because the best way I've found to dig yourself out of a style identity crisis is to get to know yourself better, under the clothes (not like that, you perv).
  3. Stay away from the internet. And stop wandering despairingly around Topshop while you're at it. Oh, the hours I wasted waiting to come across the one person or picture or item that would be The Ultimate Piece Of Inspiration, and make my sense of identity suddenly click into place. I'm not saying you should abandon Tumblr, just limit your usage. 
  4. And maybe start browsing things that are relevant to you as a whole person, not just how you want to look. If you're not as all-or-nothing as I could sometimes be, you might not have jettisoned large chunks of your personality to focus more on fashion. But if you have, now's a good time to start gathering them back in. In other words, if there's ever a time when looking into a fandom is a good idea, it's now.
  5. Make something. Anything. I literally don't care if you're drawing stickmen. Creation is cathartic, it distracts you from obsessing, and it gives you something better to talk about than your shoe wishlist.
  6. Focus on moments. When I was paying most attention to my appearance, I had a tendency to try to watch myself as if from the outside. Wherever I was, whatever I was doing, my attention was on how I looked to others whilst I was doing it, not how it felt from the inside. I'm not saying that it doesn't matter at all how you look. If it's important to you, that's cool. But I don't think that in the short human lifespan, the most important thing should ever be how you looked while you were here. If you can, try to pay attention to what's going on around you, what your senses are telling you, how you feel; not picturing how you look in this particular light or how you're going to write this up for your blog later. Be there for the experience (and if you then realise you don't like where you are, make your excuses and leave).
  7. Think about your values. What's important to you? Feminism? Animal welfare? Politics? Self-expression? Art? Many of the groundbreaking subcultures we know of today came about through a political protest or music genre. As you look deeper into what your values are, you may find one of these movements that speaks to you. Or you may just get to know yourself a bit better, which plays a big part in finding your own style.
  8. What drew you to your starting-point subculture in the first place? Was it just the look? If so, what elements would you want to keep (silhouettes, colour schemes, distressed elements, fabrics etc.)? Were there other factors, like music, art, literature or friendships? Chances are, you can change your style without 'losing' any of those. Think about what drew you in, why you want to change, and what elements from that subculture or style you want to 'keep'. I wrote this post to help me think about what 'spoke' to me from the styles I had an interest in.
  9. Similarly, try to work out what you want from your wardrobe. Be honest with yourself! I had to accept that, though I love fancy looks on other people, my priorities are comfort and freedom of movement, so six-inch-heels and corsets aren't for me - at least not for everyday wear. How do you feel in what you're wearing right now? How would you like to feel? Could there be something you need to accept, or change? It helps to stick to these ideas when you make new purchases - if you know you feel most comfortable in simple, casual clothes, you can buy as many frilly dresses as you want but they'll probably just sit in the wardrobe. If you prefer to wear black but feel like you 'should' try colour - erm, why? They're your clothes; you're the one who has to pay for them, accommodate them and wear them (or not).
  10. Experiment privately. Mistakes will happen. Take photos if you want to remember what you wore or how it made you feel, but wait a while before you post them online or you may cringe later. And we've all had times when you realise halfway through the day that you feel ridiculous in your outfit. Sometimes this will happen and it can't be helped, unless you want to wear the same clothes every day (I practically do, actually). But for important events, try to stick to what you know and what you feel good in, at least until you've got more of a handle on your wardrobe. (And if you do end up realising you looked like a lunatic at X party, try not to stress. Goodness knows, we've all been there. In my case, repeatedly.)
  11. One of the most important things for me, which I have alluded to in several of the other tips here, is to try not to obsess. When I realised that my interests were shifting away from Gothdom, my style then became almost all I could think about. If I wasn't this person any more, then who the hell was I?! Trying to force myself into a new cookie-cutter category - even if I had to make one up myself - so that I could relax became my mission. It was only when I gave up, out of sheer frustration, and resigned myself to wearing pyjamas and nerd T-shirts forever, that things like my values, passions and actual priorities became visible to me again. Be patient with yourself.
  12. Don't beat yourself up. When I was a Goth, I thought I'd be happy dressing that way for my whole life. I loved it. So when I started to feel that it wasn't for me any more, I was upset. I felt irritated with myself for not having enough 'commitment', and tried to stay Goth longer even though I was really starting to feel like I wanted to move on and try other ways of expressing myself. What worked for me in the end was making sure to 'bring with me' the things I had discovered through Goth culture that I still enjoy - music, cool boots, certain films, dark literature and many other things - and also not to dismiss that part of my past. Just because something wasn't permanent doesn't mean it wasn't interesting or fun or exciting at the time, and brushing it off as 'a phase' feels like belittling that part of my past and who I was. I try to look fondly on who I was then and who I am now.
Hopefully none of you guys managed to screw yourself up over comparatively minor things quite as thoroughly as I did, but if you have, I hope something here helps in some way. Good luck on your journey!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

New Article in the Carpe Nocturne Winter Issue

I'm pleased and proud to report that I have an article out in the Carpe Nocturne Winter issue, which is available now. (I'm listed in the front of the magazine as a contributor, which feels awesome).
Melanie Gaydos: Beyond Beauty Standards
A celebration of non-standard models challenging the homogeny of the fashion industry.

"In beauty, as in art, in reality there is no 'standard'. Fashion is, at its core, an art industry, but it's also commercial, and bombarding us with false ideals is a quick and easy way to hook us into a consumer chain of shelling out money for an unachievable result."

"Representation is important, and it's a shame that the inclusion of faces 'other than the norm' will often be cited as 'shock value', or, as Melanie says, a gimmick, particularly in an industry where Fashion Month shows this year [2015, at time of writing] employed eighty per cent white models."

The magazine is available here in both digital and print format; it covers alternative, dark and unusual art, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment of all kinds. Once again, I'd like to thank the patient and enthusiastic Carpe Nocturne team, and special thanks also to Amber Asaly, who helped me out with an amazing photo of model Melanie Gaydos to accompany the piece.

Oops, Another Hair Post (Lilac)

Last week I had my second hairdresser's appointment to finish my colour correction from brunette-to-blonde ombre to lilac hair. I have not managed to take any terribly flattering pictures of this hair so have some dorky ones instead.

My stylist Dani used chill* ed stain hair dyes in purple and silver mixer/toner.

Firstly, this is me (taking awkward salon selfies) after a scalp bleach and about a gallon of toner. The silvery ash-blonde I'd had for the previous fortnight had faded to a more conventional warm blonde (despite vigorous application of Touch of Silver shampoo), so it was great to shift back to something a little more elfin. This is the lightest my hair has EVER been; I love it. Dani assures me that as the lilac fades out it should return to something like this. No complaints!


Then we had the application of purple dye and yet more toner. My favourite thing about this colour is that different tones show up in different light.


Flopping on my bed.
Day three, after washing out a load of styling wax. A little more silvery again.
Apparently the salon wants to use my before-and-after pictures on their Facebook page which is nice. :) (Although when the social media lady asked to take my photo I'm pretty sure I was frozen with fear in every single one.)

I am crazy about this hair. <3 I feel like a cartoon character! The colour should last ten to twenty washes but I'm going to try washing in cold water to eke it out as long as possible (and I'm thinking about buying a tub of Directions Lilac dye to top up at home). I've already arranged with Dani that when it finally does fade, pink's next. :)
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