‘Think of the power of the universe — turning the Earth, growing the trees. That’s the same power within you — if you’ll only have the courage and the will to use it.’- Charlie Chaplin

We are all defined then redefined by our ever changing moods. Judged by our attitude, how we carry ourselves and how we treat others. Many factors can alter and shift all of the above including, our surroundings and environment, weather and seasons, menstrual cycle and illness or situation and circumstance. Ultimately the biggest movement would come from those around us with whom we choose to spend our time with. Friends carry with them an untainted gift of enlightenment that can give the receiver the ability to reach a higher plane of happiness and a profound higher consciousness that provides strength and ability to conquer things that you alone may perceive to be unreachable. Thought attracts thought and behaviour breeds behaviour, synchronisation comes from within, as without knowing we magnetically pull towards us, people with the same outlook as our own. Creating together an abundance of wealth, love and happiness.

I return home from London exhausted, the copious amount of red wine consumed has left a purple haze along my smile and my insides are sure to resemble pickled beetroot. My legs ache and my chest is excruciatingly heavy, my skin looks dull and sunken with a mild breakout due to an abundance of rich food and alcoholic pleasantries. An air of guilt circles me as I think back to the weekends escapades. Am I really allowed to have so much fun?

My lethargy will subside and my body will recuperate, my spots will fade but what won’t disappear is the memory of an epic trip with the people I call my friends.

From watching Dandy Pike on stage at Leicester Square with Karlene and Titi, then there after being filmed by passers by whilst performing hits from Chicago and other popular musicals on the London Underground. A low point being kicked off ‘stage’ by an angry busker as a furious women screamed ‘SHUT UP, YOU CANT SING’ at the top of her lungs. Titi near hanging off Putney Bridge as we persuaded two entertained evening strollers to purchase more wine with us.

The next day only just making it to idilic Richmond, where Darren treated me to a beautiful lunch on the Thames, surrounded by row boats and swans, he even insisted on carrying my bags to Shoreditch, where before partaking in some pole dancing at Ryan Malloy’s house, we scoured the streets looking to get Darren’s face tattooed. An eventful and hilariously funny day, we eventually retired exhausted to our trendy hotel.

Darren’s birthday arrived and I quickly changed my previous plans to keep a smile on the birthday boys face, we walked across London to Berwick Street Soho for Record Day. Live music, street drinking and our encounter with Anna, Josh, Davie, Gramps and co set up the day as a birthday to remember. Traffic cones in hand with a bucket load of bravado and a shot glass of wit, Davie and Darren lampooned the crowds with some hilarious outbursts and some rather crude remarks. I won’t go into too much detail on ‘The Scratch Card’ which left us all in fits of uncompromising laughter. Leaving the Dundee Mob behind we headed to Brixton where we were greeted by Josh Bob and Co, who had kindly arranged a wild evening of celebrations for Mr Pike. My first encounter with the crowd who took me in as one of there own, an exceptional bunch that know how to party, the whole house was still a buzz when we left late the next morning.

A famous Brick Lane curry and then wrapped up in bed was how I spent my last evening in the big smoke, where I reminisced at not only the great time I had but also the incredible and talented people I had met in my few short days. It made me realise that if we all continue to elevate each other’s energies, we can create amazing things, giving us what truly has meaning in life…

‘Generosity, kindness, honesty, humour – Makes us truly rich’ – Waylon Lewis.

Long Live the VEF and look after your friends, they’re your true QUEEN(s).

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The Path of the Disciplined Pioneer

She was instantly captivated by this bearded brute.

Devilish by name, perilous by nature.

Like two capering fools they mischievously made their way to a damning night of lustrous passion.

Unaware of his approach or the demon of his trident, her body ached from the urgency of his love making.

It  was a good ache.

From her nakedness, raucous with delight, she yearned for his gallant form.

Muscled like a bull and charactered straight from a Dickensian tale.

She slept in his arms and fled in the morn, frightened by his mythical presence.


Her resistance gave way formidably and like a magnetic force they were pulled together.

Longing with ferocious thirst, excitement embroiling every inch of her pulsating body.

A lifetime since she had him last.

He dramatically undressed, her eyes lingering across his robust physique.

Lust encapsulates fear, his powerful advance weakening her resilient might.

Once again she was his.

They spent the night sewing seeds and laying foundations of what may be a considerable blend.

Sharing laughter and warmth, her apprehension subsided and he had her heart.

He left in the night.

She languished in forlorn, when would the hands of fate bring them together again.

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Inspiration for poems from noir images by Jacques Biederer

Long live the VEF and felix sit natalis dies QUEEN!


My personal style has naturally developed and organically grown. I’ve always had a rooted connection with fashion, I have a keen eye for clothing and accessories and I gain fulfilment in putting things together. My mastered look is entirely thought out yet effortless in comparison to my younger years, you begin to learn what is right and wrong, what defines you and what you are comfortable presenting yourself in. Although I would never categorise my previously disestablished look as fashion victim I have more than certainly committed a fair few petty fashion crimes.

My siglo (signature look) is androgynous in reference and subtly intertwines femininity with a masculine edge, I suit monochrome and simple silhouettes and sprint rapidly away from too many frills or clashing prints. Fabrics such as leather, velvet, patent and PVC hang at home in my wardrobe next to cotton t-shits, oversized plaid, denim shirts, fishnet and vintage pieces. I hate fuss and rarely shop instead refreshing my basics with stand out pieces I’ve collected from my teens. I dream of shoes and coats and store them in abundance but my true love lies in accessories and I find it utterly impossible to leave the house without a chunky buckle belt and giant hoop earrings. My inspiration creeps in from the past and I’m drawn entirely towards previous British subcultures such as Skin Heads, Punks, Teddy Boys and Goths and they jigsaw together my everyday look, a look I’ve honed and developed for many years, documenting my fashion story along the way. In thought I hope to inspire one little lady (my daughter Ruby) with my photographs and tales of my progressive style journey in the same way my own Mum inspired me.

You have either got it or you don’t, and Janyce Scanlan has certainly got it, a wave of importance, a flood of sophistication and a perfectly manicured million dollar look. She eludes grace, gives out style and easily keeps up with the latest mode. My earliest childhood memories are that of sitting on my parents bed, my sister Hayley at my side. Two little girls captivated by their mother, skilfully applying make up for a night out, asking questions of application, trying lipstick, clip on earrings and wrapping themselves in wonderfully scented silk scarves. I’d have hours of fun looking through her bag collection or prancing in her shoes and it was highly common in our household for my big sister and I to play dress up in her stylish accoutrements. Janyce has a glamorous way of bringing things together, an eye for finer detail and a unique manner in bringing style into everything she does. It’s little wonder her five daughters have chosen creative paths and she has allowed entirely her girls to develop individuality and has picked out along the way pieces that suit each daughter with ease and encouragement of developing their own unique look.

Having grown up in the 1980s and watching my mum dress up in a desirable yet classically 80’s look it’s to no avail I’m instantly drawn to the movers and shakers of that fashionably wild era. Grace Jones’s silhouette, Debbie Harry’s subtle sexiness and Madonna’s youth and exploration. Vibrant colours, Perspex and rubber costume jewellery, high blushed cheekbones, shoulder pads, pointed stilettos and print after eye watering print. Who was behind the looks of these three magnetic icons? Who revolutionised the art and fashion scene of the 1980’s? Who is still creating a fashion buzz and stylish flare over 35 years later?


From the late 70’s right up to the present. From Fiorucci to Marc Jacobs – and from Madonna to Grace Jones, via Basquiat, Warhol and Keith Haring – Maripol has exerted a huge influence on fashion, photography and art for nearly 40 years. Born in France but based in New York since the 1970’s. Maripol is renowned for her work styling and photographing iconic figures in the 1980’s art scene. She disco-ed the night away at Studio 54, hung out at Max’s Kansas City, stopped by Warhol’s Factory, befriended Fab 5 Freddy and was neighbours with Kid Creole and the Coconuts.

Maripol worked as a model and stylist, famously styling Debbie Harry and Blondie on the album cover shoot for Parallel Lines as well as working alongside Grace Jones and Cher. She briefly held the title art director for Italian fashion house Fiorucci and in 1979 she’d founded Maripolitan Popular Objects, an accessories label that specialised in rubber bracelets, cross earrings and other religious iconography. Drowned in pearls, white lace, crimped tresses and layers of silver bracelets, Madonna and her debut album ‘Like a Virgin’ was touched by the Maipol magic which sparked a partnership and friendship as the unforgettable look sent waves of excitement around the fashion world, creating an image emulated for the 80’s and beyond.

In Dundee right now at the DCA you can divulge in Maripol’s personal documentation of this prolific decade and more as she shares with us her Polaroid photography, film and costumes that are steeped in glamour and ooze New York coolness. The exhibition is the early eighties personified and I loved it!

Fab Five Freddie told me everybody’s fly
DJ’s spinning I said my, my
Flash is fast, Flash is cool
Francois sais pas, Flashe no deux
And you don’t stop, sure shot
Go out to the parking lot
And you get in your car and you drive real far
And you drive all night and then you see a light
And it comes right down and lands on the ground
And out comes a man from Mars
And you try to run but he’s got a gun
And he shoots you dead and he eats your head
And then you’re in the man from Mars
You go out at night, eatin’ cars
You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too
Mercuries and Subarus
And you don’t stop, you keep on eatin’ cars
Then, when there’s no more cars
You go out at night and eat up bars where the people meet
Face to face, dance cheek to cheek
One to one, man to man
Dance toe to toe
Don’t move too slow, ’cause the man from Mars
Is through with cars, he’s eatin’ bars
Yeah, wall to wall, door to door, hall to hall
He’s gonna eat ’em all
Rapture, be pure
Take a tour, through the sewer
Don’t strain your brain, paint a train
You’ll be singin’ in the rain
I said don’t stop, do punk rock

Long Live the VEF and Maripol the Polaroid FASHUUUUN QUEEN!

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What do you get if you cross a trip to Aberdeen to hang out with your pals and an amazing indie rock band with filming a short comedy movie with an elaborate bunch of hard working, passionate, talented creatives and judging a Graphic Design competition to ‘Rebrand Dundee’ at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design? A bloody great weekend, that’s what and it’s exactly where my adventurous impulses have taken me this week.

Expertly engaging the rip-roaring crowd, beat after beat of The View classics. The dedicated fans ravenous and hungry for more, it’s an inspiring reminder of a decade’s success as the boys have lost little vigour and zero musical strength. Hits like Same Jeans and Shock Horror combined with tracks from up and coming album ROPEWALK which sees general release on 8th June 2015. A few dates into their current tour The View had no sympathy with their loyal crowd, giving them exactly what they wanted whilst they riotously bounced through each track, expertly reciting each word, the five musicians willingly performing their craft with perfection. The View were certainly ON FIRE!

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The band joined us just a few hours earlier as we arrived at the Radisson Park Hotel. I was on my musical adventure with The Family Crew, a collective of best friends who have grown up together, as have their children, creating a bond few could sever. Angie, Gail, Gill, Karlene and I, unique in force, a strength in partying and queens of side-splitting hilarity. It’s no surprise 10 of us squeezed into Gail’s executive room to demolish the upgraded free mini bar, whilst Gill handed out banana and ginger loaves for the group to enjoy on their tour bus. A quick strut to the venue, camouflaging our shop bought drinks, we arrived at The Garage just as The View picked up their instruments. We partied from the side of the stage, screaming every lyric and soaking in the atmosphere, thereafter we continued backstage, singing musicals, eating pizza and giving lead singer Kyle a makeover before heading off through the pretty streets of Aberdeen towards the after show party. A packed out venue with a decent playlist, Karlene, Rennie, Kyle and I sat comfortably sharing drinks and sharing stories, a calm and sophisticated approach (we must be getting old). A nod from the tour manager and it was time for the tour bus to leave, seeing the boys on the next leg of their circuit around the UK. Friends, fans and groupies saying their farewells as the family crew slipped next door, where we indulged in copious amounts of curry sauce, chips and cans of Irn Bru. How very Rock n Roll.

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I awoke the next morning feeling considerable fresh, excited for the next chapter awaiting me in Dundee…

Six inch wooden clogs, skin tight flared jeans and mutton chops which had almost taken over the entire face. Northern Soul classics belting out as I made my way into the seedy gents toilet. No I hadn’t travelled back in time and found myself at Wigan Casino, I was on set of the amazing collaboration of three creative geniuses, Darren Tait, Dylan Drummond and Tammy Shaw. A concept dreamed up by comedian Darren and brought to life by the three, a short film released within a matter of days and I was lucky enough to be asked along to style the hair on the production aptly named ‘The Shave’. Hesitant to give to much away, The Shave is the first partnership for the productive trio and I have a feeling it’s the start of many. Authentic costumes, realistic location, out of this world dance moves, clever camera work and the undoubtable vision gives me butterflies in my belly with anticipation of the final product. My lingering hangover swept away with the enthusiasm of the cast as I beamed with pride at being involved in such a cool project.

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No rest for the wicked as an early start the next morning seen me meet Irving Miskell Reid at Duncan of Jordanstone, where along with Jennifer Caswell and Karen Tocher we judged a competition for second year Graphic Design students who were set the task of ‘Rebranding Dundee’. The work involved was incredible and it was overwhelmingly insightful for me to listen, see and acknowledge the undergraduates thought process through design. Any involvement in creativity within Dundee is what I strive to achieve as I make connections with my own career, giving me encouragement and drive to design, create and deliver high quality work as well as understanding in other artistic genres.

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Long live the VEF and Dundee the Creative Design Queen.