The Middle Sister

The wonderings, ponderings and other 'ings' of me. Lifestyle, review, news and opinion posts. Chic with a hint of sarcasm... hopefully!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Selfie Welfare


Alrighty then! This might be a bit of long one but today I'm in the mood to chat about selfies!  In my experience, most people have one of two opinions when it comes to selfies.  Either you like taking them and do it fairly frequently, or you don't and view those that do as narcissistic arseholes.

I have some friends who take many selfies, others who I have never seen take one image of themselves the whole time I've known them.  Throughout my journey as a blogger and photographer I too, have dabbled in the taking of selfies.  Not as many as some, more than others and the thing I found most interesting is how those that don't admit to taking selfies viewed me. I say don't admit as in a study by Sarah Diefenbach* the 'selfie paradox is exposed. This states that while 82% of people say they do not wish to see so many selfies on social media 77% of people regularly take the damn things! I'm neither a psychologist nor a mathematician but even I can see there is some sort of Venn diagram of hypocritical twattery going on here. 

So why is so much shame being plastered onto selfie takers if most of us are doing it?  I was called a 'selfie queen' once, and while I'm certain there was no malice intended from the person that said this, it did feel quite 'judgey'.  Like it was something I should be at least little bit ashamed of.  As this comment was passed by someone I'm extremely fond of I felt somewhat chastised, but needed to see if they were right. And where else would you go when investigating your own image but the temple of the selfie taker... Instagram.  Its here you'll see the most images of me and I'm sure its my account (Theemiddlesis in case you're wondering) that earned me the title in this persons eye's.  
There I am with Christmas and Autumn, Two of my all time favourite things!
And this is the interesting bit. I went through each and every one of my instagram images, took away the number that were selfies and worked out that percentage. It was 18%. Yep 18 percent! In other words, 4/5th of the images I posted were of coffee, nature, fashion, events, books or the gazillion other things I am into, but it seems that 18% was much more evident than the other 82%.  And this is before Facebook took over so we can't blame the God awful algorithms**

Although this was some time ago the selfie is still a phenomenon that provokes discussion as the recent Intelligence Squared pod cast 'Me My selfie and I: Self expression in the Digital Age shows. While it highlighted that, yes in 2015 more people died taking selfies than were killed by sharks, it also pointed out that some anthropologists believe the self portrait is critical to human development and evolution.
There I am again, twice in this set.  A narcissist or someone that is comfortable in their own skin?
I really enjoy seeing my friends images and love that their selfies are included in blog and instagram posts. Furthermore, as I know more about them than the few images I see on my phone, I know these people are not overly self involved.  The thing is just because a particularly affluent, attention seeking Armenian family are the poster people of selfies, doesn't mean that anyone that takes a selfie is the same.

So next time you see someone with a camera held aloft at the perfect flattering angle, think about not judging them. Not all selfie takers are the same.  We don't all go to truly beautiful areas of natural beauty and miss the scenery because we are taking 137 pictures of our own face.  We don't all think that we invented the very act we are partaking in only 11 years ago #EyerollHilton.

Some of us are capturing a time in our lives we want to remember, a thought that's particularly important or yes having a moment of self expression.  If that makes you feel uncomfortable then maybe you should try it, you might be surprised at the outcome. 

*Professor of market and consumer psychology at the Ludwig Maximilian's University  ** Oh My God I hate it I hate it when will we wake from this nightmare***
** sorry FWP I know!

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Sunday, 12 November 2017

Review: The Locker


So its been a while since I've done one of these - a full time job will do that to a blogger! But today I'm adding to my 'Coffee shops of Cambridge' series.  Why you ask? Well because the town that needs a coffee shop like Santa needs another cookie has - you guessed it - got another coffee shop.  The Locker on Kings Street opened in August 2017 and so its my duty and desire to review it for you lovely lot.  In we go!

The Cool
First off each member of staff is achingly hip with at least one or more of the required attributes of the truly trendy.  A rainbow of hair colours and ear adornments grace the personage of each gorgeous young thing that greets you with a smile and fetches your beverage.  Talking of the coffee its obvious The Locker means business when it comes to the black stuff and the barista takes a great deal of pride in both brewing and beautifying his creations.



The food also gets top marks. Simple yet wholesome their cheese toasties - and I do not say this lightly - rivals that of Urban Larder for the best in Cambridge.* It comes with a fresh salad and balsamic glaze which not only cuts through the pleasing stodge of the tangy cheese but also works as a visual aid for other hungry customers to salivate over. Vegan and gluten free choices are also available as you'd expect from a post 2015 diner.



The decor and design is a well thought out masterpiece. Low hanging light bulbs are placed strategically so as not to interrupt your dining experience** adding that inviting glow required for any self respecting eatery.  Multicoloured structural beams and pottery used as water cups are splatter painted as if by a genius toddler.*** Everything else is sleek, inviting and perfectly functional, no wobbly tables displacing your chosen drink here! 



The Quirks
Reportedly named after the owner's dog (Davy Jones so Davy Jones 'Locker') the moniker of this establishment is a little odd. Davy Jones Locker is regarded as the grave of those who died at sea.  So it seems a little strange to name a bustling, friendly cafe after something so morbid.

The Que? 
Onto the balanced part of this review, what wasn't 'quite perfect'. 
The soup: I heard the server advise the 'soup of the day' flavour no fewer than 25 times in the hour I was there.  Why it wasn't added to the completely erasable chalk bard behind the counter, therefore speeding up the process is beyond me.

The coat stand: With the copious amounts of people coming and going, the current coat stand is not sufficient for its needs.  Something I demonstrated when I knocked the overly laden thing over after breathing near it.  Having to replace each coat and accessory with the delicacy required for the game of bucking bronco, I'd ask the owners get a bigger sturdier stand, two even!

Seating: Such is its popularity the cafe was full the whole time I was there with many customers asking staff if there was room upstairs.  The addition of a camera showing the availability would have shortened the disappointment felt by those that didn't arrive at a lucky time. 

But who am I kidding, as complaints go these are pretty lame.  The soup's not named, the coat stand is wobbly and the staff can't see through walls isn't much of a drawback and neither should it be.

Get yourself to The Locker if you're looking for home made foodstuff, well brewed coffee and posts for instagram.  Just get there early and be sure not to wear a heavy coat! 





*the place I declared served the best cheese toasties a couple years back)
**take note Bould Brothers
*** that's a compliment, not a criticism 
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Sunday, 29 October 2017

A Wonderful Weekend - CBG Town Indoor Market

So, as promised today I'm chatting about #CBGTownIndoorMarket Cambridge's own blogger market/cake stand/creative workshop event which a bunch of us went to last weekend.

Spending time with both @girlrunninglate and @pippa_CTx - two of my favourite people - is always fun but this was super-girly-autumnal-creative-blogger-on-steroids kind of fun*.  The always chic Ama Ella Lingerie where there, which you remember, I wrote about a while ago.  Feel free to re familiarise yourself with my post though, I'll wait...


All the cool kids were present and correct.  However while I'm loving this trip down memory lane  - chatting about how gorgeous @feioiInteriors looked and how I enjoyed catching up with sophiekate@claireabellemakes and @kellyannrist - if you don't know this lovely lot it might be a bit dull for you. 

But fear not, I'm getting to the point because the real highlight of the day was the workshop run by @TheTrove. We all got to decorate letters or ampersands with gold paint, autumnal colours, glitter and flowers (doesn't get much girlier does it!). 

This was when the magic thing happened.  When you put the right group of women together and give them something creative to do with their hands its like the stars align.  We put the world to rights, I swear had any of us actually been prime ministers or presidents there'd have been peace on earth by Saturday evening! The comfort level was tangible to the point where some of us revealed a little about ourselves and in the process, became closer as a group.

At least that's how it was for me.  I'd say a stack of the good vibes were due to Pippa's mum who is one of the most vivacious people I have met in a while (she even got chatted up the new coffee shop we went to afterwards).  I find something quite soothing about being around a stable, happy member of the previous generation. Not sure what that says about me...


Anyway it was honestly one of the best weekends I've had in ages and it kind of took me by surprise.  But its the kind I like.  Have you ever had something that was going to be just 'fun' turn into something a bit more meaningful? 



*NB Not saying steriods are fun hmm'kay?
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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Visiting Undley Pumpkin Patch


Hola, 

So I'm doing the thing everyone tells us not to do today by adding a random post after not updating my blog for a while. I honestly have about 10 half finished ideas for blogs at the moment, none of which have been completed because 'lazy' and 'busy'.  However I had to add a little post today as this morning I went to Undley Pumpkin Patch which depending on your view and whether you have/like kids is either ridiculously fun or hell on earth! 


As a child-free person that loves the autumnal season in particular I'd say its a bit of both. True there were some kids screaming and contorting their spine 'til you swear its about to snap because they aren't allowed on the bouncy castle again.  However if you can ignore this the pumpkin patch is the best around, I lost count of the sheer number of shapes, sizes and colours that were available.



They have a huge array of the weird, wiggly, 'hipster pumpkins' or gourds/squashes as well. These little beauties were the very reason we drove for 45 minutes and I was not disappointed.  I'd even go so far as to say this is it the happiest I have ever been in a field, in the middle of nowhere, watching #StormBrian whip small children up in the air and fling them over to live out their days in the land of Oz*



Whatever your family situation if you're a fan of autumnal veggies - for creative or edible reasons - Undley Farm is definitely the place to go. Those that aren't used to being around a mess** of littl'uns I would suggest military precision planning to get in, get your squash and get out before the hoards arrive!



Thanks to Charlotte Steggz whose instagram post inspired my trip. 

Incidentally, Charlotte arranged #CBGTownIndoorMarketa clothing and crafts fair in Cambridge which was my other creative seasonal event this weekend.  We enjoyed a wonderful workshop run by The Trove in which we decorated letters and signs, a necessity for any self respecting blogger's bedroom or office. 

If you want to know more you'll have to pop back next week as this will be the topic of my next post.  This stuff isn't just thrown together you know***!

*Fairly huge exaggeration.
** yes that is the correct grammatical term of a collection of children
***Well not often...
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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

I bloody love Autumn



I bloody love Autumn, when most other people are like 'boo hoo summers over' I’m Winnie the Pooh on the first day of Autumn.  You've probably all seen the gif but its pissing me around so I'm not adding it here.  And yes I did just compare myself to a round, yellow bear... But I digress

I seriously do not understand not being into this season, it’s so pretty! It’s still usually quite warm, less extreme than summer and means that Christmas is less than 100 days away.

It’s also a season when fashion gets dangerously cosy, if it were possible to be snuggled to death it would happen in Autumn.  Add to that the fact that shades of maroon, burgundy and deep red - my favourite colours - have consistently been on trend in the third quarter and you get a Middle Sister who is pretty much giddy with crisp seasonal contentment.

So, when Boudoir Femme had a 'new season' evening I had to go! As one of my first stops for independent Cambridge couture I’m always happy to see what they are recommending for our attire, and they didn’t disappoint. 


Cute cross body bags in blood red (#toldyouso) leather, fedora style hats that beg to be worn at jaunty angles and studded ankle boots, with just enough heel to give you an edge but not so much that you fall arse-over-tit were all on offer.  


I was particularly taken with this year’s collection of kitteny soft jumpers which were accented with colourful hearts or sparkly patches.  One designer, Scotch & Soda, even go so far as to, on occasion, gift their customers with accessories when they buy an item of clothing.  In effect meaning you are saving money at the same time as investing in a gorgeous jumper.  It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Hanging out with @lifesacatwalk and @girlrunninglate is always a joy, and this time I got to meet @saysallymay as well.  All whilst sipping a glass of fizz and mentally working out what I had just bought in my head and if I really needed to pay my mortgage this month or could I just have ALL THE THINGS!

The clothing in Boudoir Femme isn’t what I would call easily affordable, but if you wanted to treat yourself… very nicely indeed, I would highly recommend you take a turn around this small but perfectly formed boutique.

See you there? 

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