Throwback Thursday – The Changing Of The Eyes

16 April, 2020

A friend of mine wrote a Facebook post yesterday, about how her eyes had been changing in colour, from fully blue to partially brown, due to various factors. While it’s not common, eyes can change colour throughout your life – and, indeed, mine changed colour, from blue to green, during my early twenties. I have no idea what caused them to do so, unless it was associated with a time of particular stress in my life, but the change was very gradual, over a few years. I will illustrate below with a few old pictures:

Me at 16
Me in July 1999, just before I turned 17. You can clearly see two things: 1) I was a massive cliché of a Manics fan, and 2) my eyes were definitely blue. (I also regret over-plucking my eyebrows and wish they were still that thick!)
Me at 21
Me in November 2003, aged 21, after a period of heavy stress in my life. You can see that my eyes have started changing colour here.
Me at 26
Me in September 2009, after I’d just turned 26. The colour change to green has pretty much fully happened here, although it’s not the perfect photo to display it. You can also see some hazel colouring around my pupils, which is still there (and spreading) today.

These days, my eye colour is a little darker than it was in 2009. I can still see some flecks of blue in them, more so in my right eye than my left, but the colour has definitely changed overall. Who knows, I may end up with brown eyes by the time I’m eighty! I know that a possible reason for a colour change is exposure to melanin, although it probably wouldn’t explain my case as I’ve always avoided the sun! It can also be through eye disease; of course, I’m hoping it’s not that – although anyone who knows me will know how poor my eyesight is, which is why I use a white cane at times (and THAT is why we always sit at the front at tournaments – or I wouldn’t be able to see anything!). I’m also diabetic and at risk of developing glaucoma, which can change pigmentation. I think in my own case, though, it might have been down to high stress levels in my early twenties, and possibly some diet choices (high onion levels in the diet can affect eye colour – who knew?!).

I’d be interested to know if anyone else’s eyes have changed colour also, and if so, from which colour to which. Let me know in the comments or via Twitter (pics are always appreciated too). In the meantime, stay safe and don’t let the lockdown get you down!

By: Purple | Permalink

Throwback Thursday – Schmoozing (or standing like planks) With Players

9 April, 2020

Finding myself at a bit of a loose end this afternoon, and very little is inspiring me creatively, so I thought I would post a few photos of us with some players that we’ve met. We don’t have many photos with players as, believe it or not, we’re actually quite shy and don’t like to bother them, although they all seem to know who we are, which is still a little weird for us. So, in chronological order, here we go:

With Ronnie O’Sullivan at our first Champion of Champions in 2014. We know how hard it is to get a photo with Ronnie, so we were quite honoured when he agreed.
With John Higgins at the CoC in 2015. I don’t think he was sure who we were at this point, but the next year when he won the whole tournament, he bought us a drink as a thank-you for our support!
With Barry Hawkins backstage at the CoC, 2015. This was kind of a random encounter when we got taken for a backstage tour and he happened to be sitting in the tournament office!
With Mark Allen, CoC 2015. We waited an hour to get this photo, as Mark had gone to the loo during the match, and subsequently couldn’t do his drug test after he’d won – refs and security were fetching him water and orange juice from the bar!
With Alan McManus, CoC 2015. Was so happy to get this photo, and Alan is ever-obliging to fans who want a pic.
With Anthony McGill, CoC 2016. Ants had just lost his match but was still happy to pose with us. Note: I know it LOOKS like I’m touching his bum in the photo, but I’m REALLY not.
With Neal Foulds, CoC 2018. I had no idea how blurry this photo was until I cranked it up in Photoshop. Oops!
With Kyren Wilson, CoC 2018. Kyren, again, had just lost the final, but was still pleased to have a photo.
Some refs! (CoC 2018) Brendan Moore, Desi Bozhilova and Paul Collier, with Security Mark doing an oh-so-subtle photobomb.
With Alan again, at an exhibition in Flimby, May 2019.

We would love to see your photos with players, refs, commentators etc., so do give us a shout on Twitter with them!

By: Purple | Permalink

New blog look

8 April, 2020

So, I was sick of seeing that succulent every time I logged in, and lockdown had me without enough projects (this may be a lie), so I decided to build a new blog theme. Not hugely packed with bells and whistles, but I hope you enjoy it. All feedback appreciated!

p.s. – there are some bits I know need tweaking, so bear with me…

By: Purple | Permalink

Life in Lockdown – Working Through

6 April, 2020

Hello, readers (yes, I know there’s probably no-one out there now!). With the current situation, we find ourselves with more time on our hands than ever, having to stay inside save for work, shopping and exercise. With this in mind, we are hoping to create more blog posts soon when we have suitable topics to write about.

I am a key worker, having worked for my local Co-op for some time now, and am continuing to go to work during the lockdown. In the main, people have been very understanding about the lack of stock and our observation of social distancing, and our team is still pretty upbeat (we have a laugh while getting the work done), but there are times when it can still be quite stressful. I will say that I am so happy and relieved to be working in such a supportive environment right now – management is very understanding about my various health conditions and the limitations that I have, and I feel totally at ease with everyone I work with. We have been getting regular updates from our area manager on WhatsApp, and also on our Shifts website, and we are feeling valued for what we do. We are also getting little bonuses for working through this time, which is a huge thing for me.

Life in-store is… weird at the moment. As I say, we are observing social distancing, meaning we can only have five customers in the shop at any time. At one stage on Saturday, there was twice the number of staff than customers! We have been taking on temporary workers to help with stocking and serving; personally, I hope we can take some on permanently, as they have been excellent in helping keep the store running. We’ve also had protective screens installed at the tills (we have no self-service tills, which I’m quite glad about, as it helps keep us in jobs!); the only bugbear I have with these is it’s made it even harder for me to hear certain customers, a situation further complicated by the fact we wear headsets to communicate to colleagues, so I already have one “deaf” ear. On the whole, though, so far so good.

I work Wednesday and Saturday evenings, when we receive our ambient deliveries – we have been having supply problems and deliveries arriving late, which is probably understandable as we try to keep up with demand. We are closing the store at points so we can catch up with deliveries, and at the moment we close at 8 pm instead of our usual 10 pm. Evenings have been fairly quiet after about 5 pm, and the five customer rule has helped that – as an introvert, I’d like to request we keep a five-person rule after this has all finished as well!

In many respects, our work is about the only social contact we have at this time, and we all work well as a team, especially as we joke about while working. I think customers kind of catch on to our positive attitudes (though don’t get me wrong, we’re knackered by the end of the night) and virtually everyone has been very understanding, almost cheerfully resigned, about the fact we don’t often have what they want at the moment. You do get some people who won’t take no for an answer, but we have the full support of our manager in times of trouble. The vast majority of people are absolutely fine, though, some even going to the trouble of giving us extra thanks for what we are doing. A lady even called us “heroes” the other day!

I am so grateful for being given a chance at a permanent job, both at my previous store and my current one. It is difficult for autistic people to both obtain and retain employment, but I have been given the chance to prove myself, and again, so far so good. I enjoy what I do (unless there’s a queue of, say, twelve people at the till, which can cause me to have the odd meltdown), and I really like my colleagues and managers. I’m a good deal older than most people I work with, which once upon a time I would have found awkward, but I feel I can relate to everyone quite well despite my age (I’m emotionally younger than my physical age anyway).

Support your local Co-op, guys 🙂

By: Purple | Permalink

Goths at the English Open 2018 in Crawley

19 October, 2018

Hi! We got back from the English Open yesterday after doing the first three days, and we really enjoyed it. See our thoughts on YouTube!

By: Purple | Permalink

Goths On The (Vintage) Tube

11 October, 2018

Back last month, we went on a rice on a 1938 stock Tube train from Amersham to Watford and spent some of the afternoon in Amersham Old Town for their Heritage Day. Check us out in our video below!

By: Purple | Permalink

The Snooker Goths are now on YouTube!

27 September, 2018

We asked for some questions to answer, and people were kind enough to oblige. Watch our Q&A video below:

By: Purple | Permalink

Product Review: Herman’s Amazing Direct Hair Color – Marge Blue

2 August, 2018

***DISCLAIMER: This product was given to me for free to trial. I am in no way affiliated with the company (although very grateful for the sample!). All opinions are my own.***

It’s my birthday tomorrow, and my hair has been blue for a while (Crazy Color Capri Blue, to be precise – recommended!), but having let it sit fallow for a couple of months, it was going an odd washed-out turquoise colour that you will be able to see below. I decided it was time for a change. Luckily, the very lovely people at Kate’s Clothing sent me a free sample jar of Herman’s in Marge Blue – the closest colour to the Capri Blue that I wanted to maintain.

Purple on the train with greenish-blue hair

My hair had gone sort of greenish-turquoise, so I wanted a refresh… Excuse the expression on my face!

The bulk of this review is identical to my review for the same brand in Patsy Purple, which you can find here. The consistency, smell and texture of the Marge Blue is exactly the same as the purple – it’s good to get that level of consistency across a dye brand. My hair is still growing out at the moment (although I might get the roots bleached again at some stage) so it was just another dye-on-the-ends job.

Purple with shower caps on her dyed hair

Obligatory attractive “in progress” selfie. Note liberal use of shower caps to protect the roots from the ends.

POST-RINSE

I left the dye on for an hour and a half (your experience may vary) and rinsed. Thoughts after drying… The colour didn’t look as vibrant as it did when it was taking or when I rinsed it, but it is a nice refresh for the faded turquoise shade underneath. It hasn’t gone as dark as it would with the Capri Blue, but I am still pleased with the final result. My hair is shiny and in good condition, and looks “fresher” now. Overall, I would probably go back to the Capri Blue after this, but I still have enough dye in the tub for another couple of applications at this length, so I will definitely use that in the interim. Do let me know your thoughts!

Puple with freshly-dyed blue hair

The aftermath. Not stonking, but certainly not bad!

Right, with that done, it’s time to prepare for birthday festivities (well, eating a lot, drinking berry cider and trying and failing to get a Manic Street Preachers ticket for the 25th September…) Comments appreciated, and see you soon.

By: Purple | Permalink

Billy O’Connor Memorial Day: 22nd June 2018

27 June, 2018

Firstly, sorry this post has gone up so late, but it has been a busy few days for us, not least with Red celebrating her birthday on Tuesday (I won’t tell you how old, or she’ll glare at me and I’ll feel guilty). I know I don’t post enough on here as-is, but I wanted to share our experience from Saturday, as it was so good…

So, the Saturday just gone (22nd, date fans) we took ourselves along to the Upton Park Snooker Centre, for their fun day in memory of Billy O’Connor. For those who aren’t aware, Billy was a very talented young snooker player and former England junior captain, who lost his life to cancer back in 2015 at the age of just eighteen. We were first made aware of the memorial day through Sean O’Sullivan posting details on Facebook, but I got the wrong end of the stick and thought you had to be a player to go along. (The number of wrong ends of sticks I’ve got hold of in my life…) However, Gary Filtness invited us along, and so off we went on the sweltering Saturday morning.

We were greeted warmly by all and seemed to be recognised by a lot of people, which can get a little embarrassing for us, but we’re slowly getting used to it. There were two tournaments that day – a 6 Reds competition and a Shootout, the 6 Reds being first. We settled down to watch some fab talent of all ages and thoroughly enjoyed the matches we saw. Everything was played in great spirit and we got the sense that there was genuine fun in each game. The 6 Reds was won by Alex Clenshaw, a lad of just 17, who beat Michael Georgiou in the final.

We bought some raffle tickets from Billy’s mum Debbie and spoke to her and Billy’s father Barry – they are both warm and lovely people, and really appreciated that we had come along. Hammad Miah signed a lovely photo for us, and we got a photo with Michael Georgiou (see below – Gary made us hold the trophies for that day’s play – nothing to do with us, we can’t play!). The raffle was held, with some great prizes donated by World Snooker and other sources, including two signed cues, one of which was donated straight back to the fund. Some items were also auctioned and received great offers.

Snooker Goths with Michael Georgiou

The winner of two Shootouts with the winners of Most Unkempt Hair in Essex

The second half of the day was the Shootout, and Gary gave us the honour of doing the draws for each round (putting on our best Foulds/McManus impersonations… or maybe not). It was perhaps not as lively (well, mayhem) as Gary would have liked, but there was still plenty of enthusiasm from players and spectators alike! The final was a repeat of the 6 Reds one, this time with Michael coming out on top over Alex. Trophies were presented by Barry and Debbie, and things got a bit emotional, as you might expect.

I’m afraid I don’t know what the final total for the day was (if anyone could let me know, I will add it to this post), but what we do know is that the target was most certainly exceeded. If you would like to donate to, or support in another way, the Teenage Cancer Trust yourself, you can do so here: https://www.teenagecancertrust.org/support-us

The whole day was filled with good humour, love and support, and we were thrilled to be a part of it and hopefully help make a difference. I hope my ailing memory has done it justice (we, er, may have had a few refreshments along the way). We thank everyone involved for such a good time and all your kindness to a couple of weirdos like us. I am sure Billy would have been proud of everybody’s efforts in his honour. We will definitely be back next year – and maybe sooner if we end up deciding we want to start playing too…

By: Purple | Permalink

Product Review: Herman’s Amazing Direct Hair Color – Patsy Purple

3 November, 2017

***DISCLAIMER: This product was given to me for free to trial. I am in no way affiliated with the company (although very grateful for the sample!). All opinions are my own.***

Well, it’s coming up for Champion of Champions time again, snooker fans, and therefore the barnets are in need of a refresh! Red has already been, well, reddened with her beloved Special Effects Nuclear Red (which continues to impress), so now it’s my turn.

Red and I attended the London Edge Alternative Fashion exhibition back in September; while we are not sellers, we do have connections with alternative fashion, and so were eager to see the expo. While there, the lovely Jasmin at the Herman’s stand gave us two jars of their gorgeous hair colours to try – Fiona Fire for Red, and Patsy Purple for me. Red hasn’t tried her jar yet (that will be another review, hopefully next spring if our dyeing schedule’s correct), and I have been saving mine for CoC purposes as I’ve been letting my hair rest for a couple of months. However, now is the time…

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Had I bought this jar with my own money, the cost would have been somewhere around the £10-£12 mark, research suggests. For this, you get a 115ml jar of dye (a little more than Directions’ 88ml), which is very pigmented and silver-sealed. Like the Lime Crime Pony that I reviewed earlier this year, the dye is vegan and cruelty-free, so you know you’re not putting damaging stuff on your hair and it is ethical. The packaging is very elegant, going for a kind of goth-rockabilly vibe, which I rather liked.

Removing the seal, the first thing that struck me was how solid the dye was. We’re not talking wax-like, but think of the most solid consistency of something like Directions or another more jelly-like dye, and it topped it nicely. There is no smell to the dye at all, which is good for those wanting all the look with none of the smell. As with the Pony, a tiny bit of this dye goes a hell of a long way. I only dyed my hair from about halfway down to the ends, as I have not had my roots bleached in a few months (trying to grow in my natural colour for a wee while) and I would say it only took about a quarter to a third of the jar. Bear in mind, however, that I have very thin hair (thanks, psoriasis), although it is long!

Attractive bathroom selfie, complete with hair dyeing top on.

Attractive bathroom selfie, complete with hair dyeing top on.

I am currently sitting with the dye taking on the ends of my hair. It’s a bit awkward with no dyeing cap on, but it would be even more awkward if I piled my hair up and the dye went on my roots in spots! I will let this sit for a few hours (usual disclaimer: I’ve been colouring my hair since I was thirteen and know what it can take – new dye users should use the manufacturer instructions!) and see you on the other side…

POST-RINSE

Well, as it turned out, I only had to leave the dye on for a couple of hours (and probably even less than that would have been needed). The dye did dry out quite fast, but I put that down to the fact I didn’t process it under a dye cap and just left it to the elements. Because of this, it took a little longer than normal to rinse under the shower (but not THAT much longer, because the dye actually rinsed quickly – it was just the dryness I had to sort). A quick squirt of conditioner and a blow-dry, and this is the result:

Sexy faces on...

Sexy faces on…

The picture does not do the colour justice. It is a shining, deep reddish-purple (perhaps redder than on the model on the leaflet, but I don’t mind) and is absolutely gorgeous. I’m thrilled with it!

This looks like it could be quite a long-lasting dye, but as has already been evidenced, dyes last about three days in my hair before washing out. I will observe this one’s longevity with interest! Also, I have plenty more to top it up with… and I will be, because it’s lovely.

Finally, I have a colour chart of the Herman’s shades to share with you, and I do not hesitate at all in recommending them. Superb.

Herman's shades. I am coveting the green... or would I look like Grotbags?

Herman’s shades. I am coveting the greens… or would I look like Grotbags?

That’s all for now! Might do some updates at the CoC, but they are loooong days, even for a spectator, so we shall see. Toodle-pip!

By: Purple | Permalink