Author: Violet Fenn

Minimal packing, maximum fun

AKA ‘how to survive in the city with nothing but pants and a travel card.’ I spent three days in London last week. I bloody love London – always have and always will. It is a filthy siren calling me to poke and prod its nooks and crannies, aloof yet quietly adorable. And coming as I do from a relatively small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business, it’s wonderful to spend time in a place where not only does nobody know me, they don’t give a monkey’s chuff what I’m up to. Whatever ridiculousness you get up to in London, someone else is being more ridiculous and probably has a hat out asking for change for the privilege of watching them do it. In the 72 hours I was away, I did the following: stayed three nights in three different places (Tottenham, Hammersmith and Fulham, FYI); visited the ‘Terror and Wonder’ Gothic exhibition at the British Library; saw Einsturzende Neubauten, Frank and Walters, Sultans of Ping FC and Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine live; had my nails done (and chipped them within thirty seconds of leaving the salon but you can’t have everything in life); visited the Natural History Museum and the V&A and popped into the Institute of Sexology’s ‘Undress Your Mind’ exhibition at the Wellcome Collection. Normally I’d have dragged a wheeled suitcase with me, but because I had to go straight from Euston to the Neubauten gig on the first night and...

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Makeup for idiots

By ‘idiots’ I mean myself, obviously, not you. You are lovely. Me, I’m a cackhanded dickwad who has apparently spent the last twenty years gradually forgetting how to put makeup onto my face without ending up looking like Pennywise had a funny turn in the cosmetics aisle of Superdrug. I was compelled to write this article when I read back through my last post and got to the bit where I mentioned painting on cat-like eyeliner. Reader, I lied. I didn’t mean to – I really do love having winged eye makeup – but I haven’t actually been able to do it properly for years. When I was twenty, I was bloody brilliant at makeup. I’d spend at least an hour in front of the mirror before going out for the evening, carefully applying perfect eyes and rosebud lips. But somewhere along the line, I lost the knack. Maybe it fell out with the Teen’s placenta. I still love makeup and cannot do the weekly Tesco shop without chucking something into the trolley. I am a sucker for a BB cream (actually it’s CC cream now, isn’t it? When will we get FF cream? Should be F.O., is what I’m thinking), I have endless random eyeshadows in colours that I will almost certainly never wear, and I own at least sixteen versions of the ‘perfect’ black nail varnish. There is no shortage...

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10 ways you know you’re winning at being a grown up

Your clothes fit you This is nothing to do with losing weight or being a particular size. It is all about sucking it the fuck up – muffin top, bingo wings and all – and buying clothes in a size that fits. I spent years wearing clothes a size too small in the hope that technically being a 12 (or 14, or 16) would make me feel better. It doesn’t. All it does is make you constantly aware that your belly is hanging over your waistband and you appear to have four breasts. Buy the next size up. Cut the size labels out, if it makes you feel better. I always cut labels out anyway, because labels showing through clothes looks stupid. The only time I’ve had a problem with this is when buying from certain supermarkets who save on manufacturing costs by screen-printing the size onto the fabric itself. Those supermarkets are dickheads.   You can change the wheel on a car But you’ve never had to, because you have your own, paid-for breakdown service and that is what the RAC was put on this planet to do. I can absolutely change a spare tyre, but I’ve managed to avoid doing so since somewhere around 1992.   Saturday night can be spent reading a book in bed without feeling that you’re missing out on something, somewhere Bonus points for having cookies in that...

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Bare faced bravery?

There’s been a lot of guff recently about women ‘bravely’ showing their makeup-free faces to the world. #NOMAKEUPSELFIE, people shrieked. So effing WHAT? Whether you wear makeup or not has no bearing on research or funding for any disease, cancer or anything else. How is this even a Thing? I just cannot get my head around how patronising this idea of ‘bravery’ is. Medics who travel to Africa to help with ebola epidemic are brave. People with disabilities who fight to lead as normal a life as possible are brave. My friend Sam (endless procedures for ulcerative colitis, which she blogs about – often hilariously – here) is brave. The endless people I know who manage to get up every morning whilst fighting against debilitating mental illness are brave. Going out of the house without foundation on IS NOT BRAVE. I bloody love makeup. I like being able to make my skin look better than it is (Boots foundation-matching service, I bow at your pedicured feet). I love that I can paint insane cat-eye eyeliner on my lids and look like a sixties sex bomb. Finding the perfect new red lipstick to add to my collection of other perfect red lipsticks makes me happier than you can ever imagine. None of this makes me either shallow, nor a coward, it is just something I like to do. Conversely, I am perfectly happy leaving...

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My beloved and brilliant fake daughter @mollyflo_wright gets to take her first film role to #tiff 💃🏻❤️💥…