The day I decided to walk from Preston to Blackpool

It was a crazy idea, something only I would think of and actually go ahead and do it. I decided to walk 21 miles from Preston to Blackpool. I knew I was in trouble when I told my friend Liam about the idea.

Liam is a keen hiker and climber therefore any challenge suggested he will take. So, with the idea set I decided to make the journey by foot for the North West Variety Club charity.

The North West Variety Club help children in the North West with disabilities to have the quality of life they deserve. With this charity in mind we planned to make the journey on the Easter bank holiday Monday.

Bruno the Boar

I was nervous. I got to Liam’s at around 8am. I surprisingly wasn’t tired and quite ready to get out into the sun. We set off at around 8:15am, walking past the Preston docks onwards to Freckleton, a small village that is home of the rich and country folk. We met a boar called Bruno which I found quite random and amusing. As we walked through the village we were shocked by the size of the houses (not to mention the men sweeping driveways and doing other chores for a small wage). I felt quite out of place in my leggings, hoodie and trainers.

The long road going out of Preston by the docks.

We struggled for a good five minutes trying to find the next path, and as you can tell by the picture, you’ll know why. It’s a poor excuse for a public footpath and as we walked on, it became clear not many people dared to venture through the nettles and thorns. Residents had stashed bin bags and waste right along what was once a beautiful footpath. It’s amazing what people take for granted.

This is a public footpath apparently.

After struggling through, we got to a nice quiet part of Freckleton where I began to question where we were allowed to go as the public footpath went straight through people’s gardens. After passing through gardens, a yard full of old boats and junk, we made it to open fields where shade from the warming sun was scarce.

The boat yard in Freckleton.

We finally made it to the edge of the bank after resting on a bench which looked out to where two rivers met to make one and then go out to sea. I know one of the rivers was the River Ribble but have no idea about the other one but the view was amazing. We even had a laugh at the two narrow boats trying to fight against the current…and failing.

Where two rivers meet before going out to sea.

We carried on up to an areodrome which took ages to pass as it was so big. We were greeted by a sign which made me a little nervous: “GUN RANGE AHEAD.”

GUN RANGE AHEAD- not scared at all...

We stopped for lunch by a swing which was made by some teenagers (assuming). It was made with a plank of wood and cable wire. I thought it was impressive and tried having a go on it but was beginning to feel the affects of the walk (we were about half way now) that I was unable to stay on for long before Liam had to save me before I fell off.

Just about see the swing that kept us entertained through lunch.

As we made our way, we could see Lytham St Annes in the distance which lifted my spirits even if it seemed as though it was moving further and further away.

Lytham St Annes in the distance

When we finally entered Lytham St Annes, we caught our breath admiring the view out to sea. We briefly met Liam’s friends Jon and Flo (who did not walk may I add) before setting off again. At this point the pain was becoming unbearable and I was beginning to doubt my ability to do the rest of the walk. The breaks became frequent and the complaints were starting to get on Liam’s nerves. I am one of those people who will finish something once started. This was not going to be an exception.

Lytham felt like a forever winding road, walking past heaven’s waiting rooms along the shoreline. We decided to walk up some sand dunes to make the walk a bit more interesting and almost cried when I saw what was in the distance…PLEASURE BEACH! This image was stuck in my head and gave me strength to carry on and finish the challenge.

Seeing the Pleasure Beach in the distance lifted my spirits.

After another long stretch of road, we finally made it to the Blackpool electronic sign, which wasn’t working. As we entered the famous seaside town, it became apparent it had lost it’s appeal over the years. For about 30 minutes we saw very few people. This ghost town was an industrial bomb site waiting for someone to save it from fading away into the night and get forgotten. After hearing my grandparents saying what great holidays they had in the past in Blackpool, this was a sight for sore eyes.

The sun beginning to set in Blackpool.

At this point I wasn’t walking, more like scuffing the soles of my trainers into the ground with a great cloud looming over my head and a temper ready to blow. Sun burnt, chapped lips and feeling every blister rub against my shoes, I was ready to give up.

Me and Liam felt it was time to get our reward of Fish and Chips. Anyone who has ever been to Blackpool knows every chip shop is only there to cater for the drunk. Run down and dull fish and chip shops line the sea front but any excuse to sit down, we chose one and ordered. The food reflected the shop.

We knew it was a mistake sitting down the second we got up. Our legs had locked themselves and walking to the tower, our finishing point, was the hardest point of the journey.  We became deluded and began laughing at this woman who was dressed in a revealing dress and shoes which were (brace yourself), canary yellow.

We made it in case you were wondering. Just about anyway. Our next challenge was to find the train station. At this point I was in tears which were hidden by my sunglasses, but the pain was so bad, I didn’t care if people stared. I was done.

WE MADE IT!

That night I slept like a baby but went to university walking like someone who had an accident in the knicker department. I have so far raised £75 out of the £200 I am hoping to raise. In telling my story of determination and agony, I hope to reach my target. Please go to http://www.justgiving.com/naomi-havergal to donate what you can for the North West Variety Club. Thank you.

Please vote for me to be Miss Preston 2011 by texting: PR11 to 84205 (texts are 60p + standard rate.) 

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The programmes we used to love.

We all have those childhood memories that will stick with us for years to come. But have you ever gone on YouTube to search for those memorable children’s programmes that you used to watch in the morning before school and late afternoon when you came home?

Huxley Pig

This was a morning programme and what a great start to the day it was! It is about a pig and his seagull friend who went about their day and something would always happen that gave a moral meaning at the end. Huxley Pig was a short and sweet animation and brought joy to everyone who watched it.

Fireman Sam

Possibly one of the most memorable to people in their early twenties. Fireman Sam was a huge success and first aired on English television in 1987 (it was aired in Wales in 1985). The animation ended in 1994 but decades later, it is still a fond favourite for many.

Poddington Peas

With only 13 episodes, The Poddington Peas made an ever lasting impression. The show first appeared on screens in 1989, and needless to say, the theme tune gets stuck in your head. Whenever I see an advert for Ribena, I am always reminded of the cartoon.

Bodger and Badger

Who didn’t like Bodger and Badger?! Whoever thought about creating a character of a Badger who loved mash potato was a genius. I personally loved this pair, and would always take time out from my playtime schedule to watch it. Throughout my childhood they produced episodes from the year I was born (1989) to when I was nine years old (1999). They brought many people my age so much laughter and joy, it was sad to see it go.

Chucklevision

Very few people would’ve taken the job as one of the chuckle brothers purely because, for the happiness of children, they lost their dignities. Each episode saw the brothers get into plenty of trouble with their “to me, to you” antics. The show began in 1987 with twenty-one series. The chuckle brothers are still trying to hold on to their fame with reports of a movie being released in 2012…I think they should quit while they’re ahead.

Power Rangers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0KOfTV1dbc&feature=related

This became one of the most common games children played in the school playground. Each person would choose which colour Power Ranger they wanted to be (I was always the red one) and then play fight. All because of this programme, children everywhere wanted to be a Power Ranger with awesome strengths. Not to mention the amount of money it must’ve made from its merchandise. Even today children are fascinated by them.

Charlie Chalk

Another classic animation where the idea for it is just as random as Bodger and Badger. It’s about a clown who is clumsy and lives on an island. It was a weird and wacky programme where I am fairly certain the writers were on something. That’s all there was to it.

Penny Crayon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY5zQXYYMaw

Whoever says they wouldn’t like to have a magic crayon that everything they drew came to life would be lying. It would be awesome! It only has twelve episodes to its name and was first aired on the BBC in 1989. The late 80’s really did bring out some of the best programmes if I am to be biased.

Rupert the Bear

This animation was originally featured in the Daily Express in an attempt to beat sales from the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror in the 1920s. From newspaper to television, Rupert became loved by children throughout the decades right up to the present. Writer’s are still creating new adventures for this bear and as it stands, will be a success for years to come.

Round the Twist

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zj0QMqPgAY

Personally I think this was too scary for the age group it was targeted at, or maybe I was just easily freaked out as a child I just don’t know. Round the Twist was a programme about a family who seemed to have bad luck with strange things happening to them, highly unlikely and just plain odd.

The Demon Headmaster

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNvonmzf8fk

This was one of my favourite programmes and I still You Tube some of the episodes. The Demon Headmaster is about a Head Teacher who can make the children be obedient by hypnotizing them. A group of children realise what he is doing and set out on a mission to stop him. Creepy yet exciting, I loved it.

The Queen’s Nose

This is possibly one of the greatest children’s programmes that both boys and girls shared a love of. Melodie is given a 50p coin that grants her ten wishes when she rubs the Queen’s nose. The wishes don’t turn out as planned and Melodie must find a way to reverse the wish. It’s quite sad that it isn’t aired on television anymore.

So that’s just few of the childhood favourites we all loved to watch and remember fondly. There are so many more such as Henry’s Cat, William’s Wish Wellingtons, Snoopy, Wacky Races, Art Attack, Zapp, Bernard’s Watch…and there’s that cartoon with the truck, hot water bottle and pink hippo that I just can’t remember the name of. If you know what it is or have any other fond memories of cartoons or TV shows, comment below.

Some videos only come up as links purposely for those YouTube.com users who have set their account settings so that the link goes directly back to their video, but is still safe to click.

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Is it really worth it?

The red soles associated with Christian Louboutin's shoe designs. Copyright: Sifu Renka

Today it has been reported that Christian Louboutin is suing Yves Saint Laurent for using his red sole trademark on their new line of shoes.

Louboutin’s trademark reportedly first appeared in 1992 when he painted his shoe soles in red nail polish to give him and edgy look. Since then, the red sole has been associated with his designs that have made him a worldwide fashion sensation.

The red sole designer is seeking $1,000,000 in damages after designer YSL designed shoes with red soles and were being sold across New York.

But is it really worth suing for?

Of course it is disappointing when someone comes to a party in something that is “your signature style” or even the same dress, but no one would dream of suing the other person.

Firstly the cost of filing a lawsuit is costly (which Louboutin can afford) with costs going into the thousands which may not even match the money you could gain from damages.

In my opinion, it would be appropriate for Louboutin to sue YSL if it was going to reflect bad on him or YSL used the red sole design in a malicious manner.

It would also be illegal for YSL to use the red sole if it was legally trademarked under Christian Louboutin’s name and designs. If not, I do not see why YSL shouldn’t be allowed to use the infamous design.

I am sure Christian Louboutin’s business will not be in jeopardy and at least he can say he was the man who started it all.

Image courtesy of: Sifu Renka @Flickr.com

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Jessie J The British GaGa?

Winner of BBC’s Sound of 2011 Jessie J is making her mark on British music, following closely in the footsteps of Ellie Goulding and Little Boots who also made their career from the competition.

Jessie J (real name Jessie Cornish) brings out a bit of GaGa in her single “Do It Like A Dude” with her “looks could kill” body on show.

It’s difficult not to let the song get to your head, with a typical catchy chorus and the urge to go nuts on the dancefloor.

At first she seemed scary, and a little too fierce, but seeing her in interviews and other public appearances, she’s the London girl everyone should love.

Check out her single “Do It Like A Dude” and see if you can keep your eyes off her stunning legs. I’m envious!

(Please note, this video is explicit as well as the lyrics.)

Video hosted by Vevo.

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Part of the list.

There is nothing worse than being home sick. I am not sure why I am feeling it after being at university for 3 years, but maybe it is because being away from home for that long really has started to eat me up.

This isn’t going to be a piece about me and wailing about not being home. I’ve tried different ways to help me cope with being away. This might help the freshers who are away for the first time or people who are just like me and want to finish.

So I’ve listed my top 10 ways of combating home sickness….some more obvious than others.

1. Get to know your housemates as soon as you can. I’m living with a girl who has lived with me for the whole duration of my degree and to have someone there who has seen you drunk, sad, stressed etc, really makes you feel like you can chat to someone who you know makes you feel comfortable to say anything to.

2. Comfort eat. There is nothing better than feeling down and then eat your favourite food. It even helps if it’s your favourite piece of fruit because the vitamins (and colour believe it or not) can lift you out of the dumps. So next time you reach for junk food, replace it with fruit.

Eat fruit to keep upbeat.

3. Be random. This one does contradict number 1. but if it fails, speak to someone who you randomly have on Facebook. I started to catch up with someone I met on a university open day (we both ended up in different places). We hadn’t spoken in so long and just speaking to him has lifted my mood because it was out of my daily routine. Sticking to a routine everyday can put you in a rut, so try to mix your day up a bit.

4. Read a book. Preferably one that is enlightening and uplifting. It’ll take your mind off how far you are away from home and you immerse yourself into someone else’s world for a while, a bit like taking a vacation from your own.

5. Play music. Not the sad kind but the kind that you listened to back when you were young. A song that triggers happy memories will make you forget bad. Simple.

6. Shopping. My personal favourite although don’t go too over the top. Invest in something that will make you happy, so for me, a new dress makes me forget where I am and focus on thinking about the good times ahead. Just make sure you have money to do this.

7. Write a diary. Sometimes you’ll find the problems you have, written down on paper don’t look so bad at all. Once you’ve analysed the problems you can just rip up the paper and move along.

8. Sit in the shower or bath. My best thinking happens in the bathroom. I’ll sit in the shower tray for ages thinking through what has made me down or what has made me happy, depending on the day I’ve had. You’re cleansing yourself outside and inside. It’s amazing how well you sleep the following night.

9. Bake. Even if you think you can’t cook, grab a simple cook book (it can even be a children’s cookery book if you don’t feel confident in the kitchen.) If you love to cook then try something complex that you really need to think about. Before you know it, you’ve baked something amazing, and totally forgot the reason why you started.

10. If your really so homesick that nothing will cure it then….RING HOME! Parents love to know how you’re getting on and like a good chat. You never know, if you tell them how you’re really feeling, they’ll pay for your train fare to go home for the weekend.

These may seem really obvious solutions but it’s amazing how many of us forget the simple things that cheer us up, so now you have a list of suggestions.

The main things to avoid when feeling low are: Alcohol, especially if you can’t handle drink very well. The worst can come out and before you know it you’re crying uncontrollably into a stranger’s hands. Not cool.

Crowded places. If you’re claustrophobic and feeling sensitive this can set off panic alarms and make you feel worse than you ever did to begin with.

Work. If you’re down and out, working will just stress you out and end up writing something that isn’t your best work. Don’t let your mood affect what you’ve left home to do….get a decent degree.

So next time you feel low and need a pick me up, refer back to these points and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.

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A Royal what????

Wedding. Yes, we all know that Prince William and Kate Middleton will be tying the knot, but do we really care as much as we did when Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip got married? Well, I certainly didn’t because I wasn’t even born but you know what I mean. Do we still appreciate the monarchy or are we just paying for people to live a grand life?

Prince William and Kate (wearing the Issa dress that sold out in 24 hours) Copyright: Us Magazine 2010.

This blog post isn’t to have a dig at someone’s happy day, it’s just the idea of the public forking out for it is just plain rude. My sister is getting married next year in August, and the money going towards it is coming from the families involved. If I asked the Queen to pay for the wedding, I’m certain she would say no, because if everyone asked for money from the Queen, then the country would be in the shit. However roles reversed, our tax is becoming one huge wedding present to two people who come from very “well off” backgrounds.

Many have said that the Royal family is the country’s tourist attraction. Everyone who visits the country from around the world all expect to visit Buckingham Palace. I won’t deny that it is a great spectacle and I too have been fascinated by the building and the history of Queen Victoria (an awesome history it is, if I am to be honest). Times have changed, we’re all becoming more interested in other things, things that have power, which (feel free to debate this) the Royal Family don’t. So why are we paying for it?

What if we spent our hard-earned taxes on something useful that may help the country out of this recession?

Seen as the media will not stop going on about the wedding (I know im not helping matters) I would love to see an article published about how Prince William and Kate Middleton feel about their wedding being funded by people who work hard to earn their living only for a fraction to go to some tourist site. Now that I would definitely read.

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H&M vs Lanvin?

I was just browsing on glamourmagazine.co.uk when some amazing shoes caught my eye. I saw the store name H&M and got giddy. This is because I know H&M is known for selling quality clothes for bargain prices and these shoes looked fabulous. So I clicked the image and to my horror, these shoes are horrendously expensive!

Lanvin for H&M: Copyright: glamourmagazine.co.uk

I am a student, but love fashion and admittedly quite a fair bit of my student loan goes on new clothes, but £69.99 for shoes? Even I think my shopping cravings have gone a wry if I bought shoes, from H&M, for that price. Definitely won’t happen. Upsetting.

H&M have teamed up with designer brand Lanvin to launch a range of clothes and accessories, hitting shops at the end of November.

The collection (which can be viewed at glamourmagazine.co.uk) is stunning but the price tag definitely isn’t one I can afford.

Thank you Glamour Magazine for showing me a great collection, but if you could tell the people at Lanvin to launch the collection when I am a “getting paid big bucks” Journalist, that would be great.

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