All posts filed under “life

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That Time I Was in a Music Video

I was thinking the other day about how I rarely talk about one of my favourite pastimes on this here blog, which is unusual considering that this supposed to be an online diary of sorts; an extension of my life. I think it’s hard sometimes to get caught up in the auld ‘what I want to post’ vs ‘what I should be posting’, ie. getting paranoid that I’m not posting enough flatlays of rose gold sunglasses next to immaculate lattes on a marble background. Should I be posting things like that? Should I ease up on the pizza photos on Instagram and instead curate my grid so all the colours match?

I don’t mean for that to sound catty. I am in awe of what other people do but sometimes its hard to not compare yourself to others and try to emulate exactly what they are doing. What I’m trying to get at is that I’m not really what you would describe as a ‘typical’ blogger. That is, my interests extend into the realm of the slightly off kilter, and I’m not very good at keeping to a regular posting schedule.

I digress.

What I am reeeeally trying to get at is that I never talk about morris dancing on le blog, and it’s been taking over my life slowly but surely over the last 6 months. In case you missed it, I’ve been hopping with Boss Morris since last November, and it’s been more fun that I possibly could have imagined, and more than you can shake a hazel stick at. Boss aren’t your typical morris side; we’re an all-female ensemble (other than our ace accordion player Mark) made up of artists and makers from Stroud, and there’s a fair amount more neon colours and face paint than average morris-ers.

(You might be thinking ‘but you don’t live in Stroud, Lily’, and you would be correct. I drive there every week for practice. DON’T LET ANYTHING COME BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR DREAMS.)

Keepin it real with the @boss.morris gyaldem in auld Chelters this evening ūüíÉ #freeupmyinsta

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A few months ago Boss had the excellent opportunity of hopping in the new Sweet Baboo vid for his song ‘Pink Rainbow’, which was being directed by the ace Bristol-based Hankin Films. It was a bit of a surreal afternoon of arsing about in front of a green screen in a tiny room, eating houmous and generally having a laugh. Plus it meant I got to meet Sweet Babs himself, who I have been a bit of a fan of for a good few years.

Anyway, the video was released about a week ago and you can have a peek below.

bristol university botanic gardens
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Bristol’s Best Bits: Bristol University Botanic Gardens

As I write this, I am watching the grey sky and rain trickle down the windows, and am wondering where all that summer weather went to.  A couple of months ago now, just as the spring weather was starting to blossom, myself and Lyzi of Being Little fame took a trip up Clifton way to pay the Bristol University Botanic Gardens a visit.

This place is truly heaven for horticulturalists, or anyone who likes standing in a room full of succulents to take photos for Instagram. It’s versatile that way. Read More

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On Loving Something So Much You Could Burst

In today’s big news: Twin Peaks returns to our screens this evening, after a much-anticipated wait of 26 years (ok, to clarify – the US screening is this evening, with a simulcast at 2am UK time). In case you’re a casual reader of this blog, or I haven’t cornered you in the street to shout about how excited I am at this news I’ll let you into a little secret; I adore Twin Peaks with every fibre of my being.

Me and Tom were a little late to the party, having only begun watching it a few years ago when it became available on Netflix. We devoured it in a little under two weeks, watching episode after episode religiously after we came home from work til the wee small hours in the morning.

Over this weekend the hype surrounding the new series has reached a fever pitch, so much so that I have been working myself into a frenzy watching teasers, trailers and every other snippet of video I can get my grubby little mitts on.

All this outpouring of gut-wrenching, visceral, heartburning excitement this weekend has thrown something into sharp focus for me. Tom has been critical of my ‘overhyping’ of the new series, which he is convinced will lead to disappointment. I can’t tell you how sad it is to have your hopes and dreams crushed in one fell swoop. I’ve been guilty of taking the piss out of things which people have been heavily invested in in the past, but never really knew how it felt first hand.

Basically, what I’m trying to get at here is – don’t shit all over something that someone adores.

It could be anything – collecting garden gnomes, season 2 of the Wire, keeping those little pots of jam from breakfast buffets, even Enya – if that brings someone joy then check yourself before you start tearing it to pieces. You’re entitled to an opinion, of course, but tailor your language so those cuts don’t run too deeply.

Anyway, I’m off to get completely more hyped and probably get absolutely no sleep before debating whether to stay up til 2am to watch Twin Peaks at the same time as those folks across the pond. Hmm… we shall see.

I’m going into hibernation until I’ve watched the first four episodes, so might be a tad quiet on the social media front – see you on the other side.

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This Weekend

Well, this weekend has been nothing short of magical. There’s something special about when the sun finally peeps out from behind that thick grey curtain it’s been hiding behind all winter; Bristol happens to look splendid in the sunshine, too, which means lots of adventuring has been has this weekend. Read More

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Alternative Valentine’s

This post is in collaboration with Debenhams.

Two Valentine’s-themed posts in a row?! Ick. Sorrynotsorry folks; I’m loving the idea of Valentine’s this year. I was always massively cynical about it in the past, but since using it as an excuse this year to wildly treat myself, I’m all over it. Read More

lily doughball bristol blogger - photo by lauren jayne hall
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Hanging Out at The Forge

One of my 2017 resolutions is to take this blog more seriously. I have a pretty hard time taking myself seriously in general, to be honest; I chalk it up to that crippling British condition of hard-wired self-deprecation, which also happens to be the reason why I’m completely shite at selfies, and the only time I feel comfortable is when I’m camouflaged in morris make-up.

For that very reason, there aren’t many decent photos of my mush on this auld blog, something which I have been vowing to fix for a long, long time. The Friday before last, myself and some fellow blogging friends (Lyzi, Fritha, and Charlie) plus the lovely and insanely talented photographer Lauren hung out at the absolutely stunning Forge to drink tea and snap some totes Instagram-worthy pics of each other. Read More

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Draw a Line and Start Again

I’m going to reeeeally try and keep this as brief as I can. For the past few days the internet has been choc-full of people’s unbounding enthusiasm to usher in the new year, and burning desire to tell 2016 to piss off once and for all. So I thought I’d throw my hat in, too. Read More

natural history museum at christmas
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Meandering Around Grey London Town

I don’t often find myself in the capital with time to spare. Usually trips to London are to do something, to see something, or generally to rush about without so much time as to stop and catch a breath. It was for this reason that I didn’t used to like London very much; I never took kindly to the fast pace of everything, I was very much settled in my Bristolian ways, thank-you-very-much.

I’ve had a bit of a change of heart of late. I’m not sure if it’s because Bristol is becoming a bit of a mini-London in itself, but I’ve begun to tolerate the capital a far lot more than I used to. So when, after my gift wrapping masterclass on Saturday, I found myself in London with a few hours to kill, I was a little bewildered. What to do with my new-found freedom?! I had a travelcard burning a hole in my pocket, which I wasn’t about to let go to waste.

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santa-con-london

After the workshop, myself and Alice stopped off at itsu for a bit to eat (another London chain making its way to Bristol!) and were surprised by thousands of people walking down Camden High Street dressed as Father Christmas, as ya do! We soon found ourselves in the midst of this crowd trying to get to the tube station, where a chatty tube chap told us that this is a Christmas tradition in ol’ London town; it’s a massive festive pub crawl which ends up getting pretty messy by the end of the day. Note to self: come and join in next year.

After saying farewell to Alice at Piccadilly Circus, I decided to take myself to the Natural History Museum for a spot of nerding out. I always get a bit emosh walking up to that stunning Victorian facade, and it looked particularly beautiful this grey Saturday afternoon, decked out in festive glory with an ice rink and carousel outside.

natural history museum at christmas

Unfortunately for me, the queue was bloody massive (obviously – it was a Saturday two weeks before Christmas) so I decided to call it a day, and starting making my way to Paddington through Hyde Park, stopping off to say hi to Albert first.

royal albert hall
prince albert memorial
hyde park in winter
albert memorial from hyde park

Soon I was safely stowed on a train bound for Bristol after a teeny tiny adventure in a minute portion of the capital. I’m more than aware that there’s plenty I need to see (cereal cafe, for example, plus numerous exhibitions) but I just didn’t have time to do it all that day! Until next time, London. Keep being massive and intimidating.

how to wrap gifts like a pro
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How to Wrap Presents Like a Pro

This post is in collaboration with Cabot Circus.

I don’t know about you, but I am pretty terrible at organising myself at this time of the year. We’ve not done too badly at the old present-buying so far, but one thing I haven’t even considered is exactly how and when I’m going to organise myself to wrap the small pile of gifts that are accumulating in our front room.

I’m not usually too bad at gift wrapping – I used to take great joy at buying matching paper, ribbons and gift tags but in past years the standard has slipped a little; sorry family. Just when I thought I’d lost my wrapping mojo, I was invited along to a masterclass with gift-wrapping guru The Wrapper Snapper.

Before popping along to the event in London, I needed to hit up Cabot Circus for some bits and pieces to take along and wrap for my dear loved ones. Without giving too much away (hello mum if you’re reading), the first stops were Hotel Chocolat and Kiehl’s in House of Fraser, followed by a quick whip round Oliver Bonas, and maybe a cheeky li’l peep in the brand new Monki store for gifts for myself ūüėČ If you haven’t been to take a look at it yet then you need to get down there PRONTO, it’s amazing! It’s the only Monki store outside of London, and I am over the moon that it happens to be in Bristol.

wrapping gifts with the wrapper snapper and em sheldon

Loaded up with presents and safely on the 07:30 from Bristol Temple Meads, I headed to the Big Smoke to learn a thing or two about how to wrap presents the proper way. The Wrapper Snapper, aka the lovely Jo, has been wrapping gifts professionally for 5 years, even picking up some famous clients over the years. She runs a pop up in London in the run up to Christmas every year, where you can take the hassle out of wrapping your own gifts and get Jo to do a beautiful job for £2.50 a pop.

After a much-needed cup of coffee, myself, Alice and Em tried our hand at wrapping our gifts, under the watchful guidance of Jo. While you may think that wrapping gifts isn’t exactly rocket science, there is absolutely no way I could get my gifts to look half as stunning as some of these.

the wrapper snapper
wrapper snapper wrapping gifts
pleated gift paper

One of my favourite little tricks was making a concertina effect, which looked fantastic on patterned or glittery paper, and would do wonders jazzing up plain ol’ brown paper (which is what I’ve got this year) with a big beautiful bow. The method is much like when you used to make a paper fan at primary school, but then the back of the folds are secured with tape and brought to the front of the gift. Add a jazzy embellishment and you’re good to go!

A photo posted by Lily Doble (@lilydoughball) on


Jo was also full of top takeaway tips for wannabe wrapping pros, so if you’re wanting some tips on how to get jazzy with your gifts this Christmas, take note.

How to wrap your gifts like a pro this Christmas:

  • Don’t buy cheap paper – it completely defeats the point! You want something with a bit of weight to it, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot.
  • Push down the sides for clean edges¬†– the trick to getting a clean, crisp edge is to push firmly down the edge of the paper, making a ‘triangle’ which you can then fold in neatly.
  • Trim excess paper – the number one culprit for messy wrapping is using too much paper, and not trimming off the excess. You want just enough to cover the gift (although it’s best to start with too much than too little!)
  • Use double sided tape – keep tape hidden and presents looking neat by using the double sided stuff.
  • Wrap bottles in cellophane and tissue paper – Jo taught us a nifty trick of layering up patterned cellophane and tissue paper and pinching it upwards towards the bottle, then securing with a ribbon. You can do the same with small, awkward shaped gifts (like in the picture at the top!)
  • Buy in bulk – a lot of wrapping materials can be bought in bulk off eBay, Etsy or Amazon. Even at short notice!
  • Embellish, embellish, embellish – there is no better way than making a gift look extra special than by dangling a Christmassy ornament or jingle bells from a ribbon. Jo says she visits pound shops and craft stores looking for bits and pieces to jazz up a gift, like that giant gold leaf in the photo above.

I hope I’ve given you some handy tips and some inspiration for getting festive this weekend, if you’ve got any tips I’d love to hear them!

This post was in collaboration with Cabot Circus. A massive thank you to Jo aka The Wrapper Snapper for the one-on-one class and her fantastic expertise.

bristol kilo sale
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Vintage Kilo Sale at Bristol Textile Recyclers

I don’t feel whole unless shrouded in¬†something vintage. It could be a cheap polyester blouse, a tremendously ugly jumper, or a pair of massive dungarees; I’d estimate that over half of my clothing is second hand. Most of these treasures are from the magic of the internet, or the wealth of amazing charity shops in this city, but what happens to the stuff that doesn’t make it that far?

bristol-kilo-sale-btr-1

I’ve mentioned before about the wonder of Bristol Textile Recyclers¬†– these guys are based in St Philips and take in tonnes (and I mean, literally tonnes) of clothing every single week, to ship up and send off to developing countries to sell on.

Once a month, BTR opens its doors to the public for a vintage kilo sale like no other.

vintage kilo sale bristol textile recyclers

Most vintage kilo sales, in my humble opinion, are an absolute rip off. I’ve been to a couple of fancy do’s before, packaging up felted, moth-eaten jumpers and past-their-best tea dresses and selling them for the ‘bargain’ price of ¬£15/kilo. Pshhh. You end up spending the earth on anything half decent.

BTR, on the other hand, offer their stock at ¬£6 a kilo. Yes, you read that correctly – SIX ENGLISH POUNDS PER KILO OF CLOTHING. This means that you can stuff as many hideous shirts and fur coats into that little plastic bag of yours like a squirrel hoarding nuts for winter, because it’s not going to break the bank any time soon.

Back at the beginning of October, I popped along to their HQ in St Philips to have a rummage through their fresh stock.

bristol textile recyclers kilo sale
bristol textile recyclers building

From the outside, BTR looks a bit intimidating. It’s not got the fancy location that other kilo sales have, I’ll give you that, but that’s part of the charm – hunting out vintage finds like an intrepid explorer, strutting the mean streets of St Philips glued to Google Maps like Ray Mears dressed in a sherpa jacket (err… maybe not). Situated in a business park round the back of Motion, this unassuming 1960s warehouse is like an Aladdin’s cave of treasure for fans of fashion.

bristol textile recyclers kilo sale

First of all – it’s absolutely HUGE. The whole warehouse floor is covered with bins of clothes that you can just dive headfirst into; you could spend hours and hours trawling through, and with a keen eye and a bit of determination, leave with a brand new wardrobe. Unfortunately, I only had 45 minutes. Undeterred, and armed with a plastic bag and a keen attitude, I got to work.

I managed to pick up a pink dress for my 011 Halloween costume, a blue coat which makes me look like the cookie monster, a fisherman’s jumper, another vaguely fisherman-esque cardigan with massive batwing sleeves, and a couple of pairs of shoes. SHOES!

It’s usually my golden rule of kilo sales not to pick up shoes, but these were in bloody fantastic condition and still with plenty of wear left in ’em. I would be rude not to, to be honest. All that came in at just under 5kg, so under ¬£30. Imagine trying to buy all that at a vintage shop! My debit card is weeping at the thought.

If you’re interested in popping along to another kilo sale, then keep an eye out on BTR’s Facebook page. The next sale is on the 10th December, if you spot me, come and say hello!

I was gifted a few kilos in exchange for this review, but all words and opinions are my own.