Portsmouth’s very own radio station, Express FM, offers an in-depth look at this week’s biggest release, courtesy of movie critic Jon Brown: Disney’s latest animation-to-live action adaptation, Beauty and the Beast.Read More
The first time I saw Amba was at a gig at The Wedgewood Rooms. She was on stage, I was in the crowd, in awe of her and her sister, thinking, ‘wow, these girls can sing!’ This was circa 2006. 10 years on, I’m great friends with Amba, and on a sunny but chilly day last month, I met up with her for a cake and a cuppa to dig deeper, to share this remarkable lady’s story. Amba’s life has had more ups and downs than the Skyways rollercoaster at Clarence Pier! So grab yourself a cuppa and let me take you into Amba's world for a while.Read More
Samo — high achiever in education, distinction in fine art, and a tattoo artist with a big story to be told.Read More
I’ve got a concession in South Coast Emporium on the corner of Elm Grove, where there’s an eclectic group of different traders all selling beautiful gifts. One of these traders is Missing Chopper — their stand is incredible.
Missing Chopper make large circus-esque lights, ranging from words through to symbols like anchors and hearts. I needed to know more about the brand, so I got in touch with founder Nina Burras, a #GirlBoss beaut living on Hayling Island. Grab a coffee and read her remarkable story here.Read More
When my first daughter was born, my husband bought me an aquamarine ring, as her eyes were blue, so when daughter number two came along, named Ruby, she kept nagging me to get a ruby ring!
So with all this in mind — and with Ruby now aged 12! — I commissioned Charlotte Cornelius to make me the impossible: a ring designed by my three children which I can wear every day.Read More
Wow, it’s been 144 hours since my last cup of coffee! A big thankyou to whoever invented cherry tea!
I am on the Changes Clinic pro-forma diet challenge for seven days — I had to eat only what they gave me, closely watched by their in-house doctor, Dr. Vincent.Read More
On 27th January, we (Daisy, Katelan, Tabitha, and Izzy) were asked by Love Southsea to go to the Shaping Portsmouth conference, to interview a few people about their work and jobs within Portsmouth. We were also lucky enough to stay for the presentations, which were very inspiring. We took notes, asked questions, and became journalists for the day.
The Shaping Portsmouth conference was held at the Pyramids Centre in Southsea, and the topic of 2017’s discussion was sustainability. When we arrived, we were originally quite intimidated! The small hall was full of people and promotional stalls, with eager entrepreneurs keen to showcase their businesses.
Some such businesses were:
These were only a fraction of the businesses in attending — everyone showcasing their work at the conference played a hand in shaping Portsmouth into an ever-evolving and -bettering city.
We all sat down at our round table — complimentary cookies in hand! — and took notes while listening to the talks. Katelan and Tabitha took the lead on note-taking and interviewing.
Each speaker offered unique and innovative ideas, speaking about what they had been doing and what they wished to accomplish.
Walter Cha, the Chair of Shaping Portsmouth, opened the conference, and highlighted the importance of the day’s speakers and what they wished to accomplish, noting economic prosperity as a key goal.
This led to the first speaker of the day taking to the stage: Peter Gunn, the Chief Executive of BH Live. BH Live is a charitable trust founded in 2010, who aim to make people more active by going to gyms, swimming pool, and parks.
Peter said that by opening people up to the idea of having fun while exercising, he feels lifestyles in Portsmouth will improve, while strengthening tourism and, subsequently, the economy.
Other speakers on the day’s programme included Cheryl Buggy — former Chair of Shaping Portsmouth — and Portsmouth’s Poet Laureate Sam Cox.
At the end of the conference, Walter Cha and Portsmouth’s Lord Mayor, David Fuller, presented the Shaping Portsmouth Awards, congratulating local influencers for their hard work and contributions to the betterment of the city. The winners were:
- Chocablock Ltd.: Business & Enterprise Award
- Urban Vocal Group: Cultural Partnership Award
- Team Origin Events: Destination Marketing Partnership Award
- Deniz Beck of ERMC Architecture: Developers Group Award
- The Royal Navy: Education Award
- Marie Clarke School of Dance: Future Generations Award
- Recycled Assets Company: Social Enterprise Award
This post was guest-written by four pupils from Mayville High School! Find out more about the school on their website »
Dear diary — the weekend brought diet days four and five, and it’s been 120 hours since my last coffee!
I’m on the Changes Clinic week-long diet challenge — they feed me five times per day for seven days to kickstart my new healthy eating lifestyle.
I’m not going to lie — I feel dreadful. I’ve got caffeine withdrawal, my head is pounding, and it’s the weekend. I’ve just moved home, so this Saturday was full of box-emptying and sorting out where to put stuff. Luckily, I didn’t have room in my brain to think about food!
The family had a takeaway tonight, and I had a delicious bowl of chicken soup. It’s a bit like space food in small portions, but it’s blooming tasty!
On Sunday, I cheated, as I went to Brighton for a date day with my husband to see Jack Whitehall. I had a sneaky French Martini 🍸 But I did keep to salads, and my Changes Clinic snacks.
So far, so good — only two days to go ’til the big weigh-in!
It’s been 72 hours since my last coffee!
I’ve taken up Changes Clinic’s one-week diet challenge, working closely with them and their in-house doctor, Dr. Vincent. Why do this? I really wanted to kickstart a healthier lifestyle with better eating.Read More
It’s been 48 hours since my last coffee. Why? I’m doing the seven-day Changes Clinic challenge to lose a stone in a week!Read More
As I write this, it’s been 24 hours since my last coffee! I know — shocking! The reason why? I have signed up to Changes Clinic’s 30-day challenge to lose a stone in one month.Read More
On a chilly Southsea morning, I meet the legendary MBE Olympian Katy Sexton for a casual chat and pumpkin spice latte on Palmerston Road.
Katy has been my personal trainer at SWEAT Southsea for nearly two months now, but I’d yet to have a proper sit-down and chat with her, and I soon realized I knew very little about her success and what made her tick.Read More
Today, I hopped on the Gosport Ferry from Portsmouth to meet Shelley Buxey, a personal trainer and sports therapist. Shelley has recently moved back home to Gosport from London to settle down, and has created a new style of gym workout right here in Portsmouth, at StrongLiving PT!
Shelley went to school in Gosport at Bay House, where she discovered her love of running! Bay House didn't just nurture her academically — they nurtured her specialist interest in sport, too, so she was in good hands. Shelley ran for the county from the age of 13 through to 15.Read More
Don't hold this against me, but I'm a sucker for reality telly, like TOWIE, Made in Chelsea, and the Kardashians! It was during one of my TV binges of The Real Housewives of Cheshire, I saw one of the wives (not sure which one, I don't pay that much attention!) have an LED light facial. Wow!
I needed to try this. Before the TV show, I had only seen this type of facial on Instagram, with Hollywood celebs taking selfies with the mask on — Jessica Alba looked particularly stunning in her picture.
At the age of 44, I'm up for trying out anything non-abrasive to help my ageing face! To my joy, I found that our very own Changes Clinic right here in Portsmouth offered this facial.
I booked in last week to give it a go. Changes is best-known for the amazing work they do with hair-replacement procedures, cosmetic dental work, and innovative skincare, literally changing people's lives, helping them to overcome scarring and aches. It was no surprise to me that they had a start-of-the-art LED light machine in their arsenal!
Changes Clinic is based at Lakeside North Harbour. It's very plush, and looks more like an upmarket hotel than a clinic, with stunning views out over the lakes.
Changes’ Rosie came to see me. I had to fill out a medical questionnaire. Once I was all signed up, Rosie took me into a private room and explained the process to me, then took a ‘Before’ photo.
I was having the ‘Signature Facial’, a three-part procedure. First, they cleanse the skin, take off all your makeup, and a radio frequency tightening machine heats up your skin. This triggers your brain to stimulate natural collagen, soften wrinkles, and tighten your skin.
Next up — the part I wasn't expecting! — was a chemical peel. Here, Rosie wiped chemicals over my face, and then soothed my skin by playing staccato on my cheeks!
This treatment is perfect for rejuvenating the skin, as the acid takes off the first layer of your skin, again stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, resulting in a beautiful glow — a bit like the best facial scrub you have ever had!
Next up, the moment I had been waiting for: the LED light facial. This light mask gets placed over your face, with the choice of three colours.
- Red for fine lines and wrinkles
- Green for discolouration like pigment problems
- Blue for skin problems, like acne
I went for the anti-ageing red colour — this procedure lasts for 15 minutes. During this time, as I laid there in the glow of the light, Rosie gave me a hand and arm massage.
The overall experience was very relaxing — I was told to take it easy for the rest of the day, and to drink lots of water to stay hydrated, and to avoid caffeine for 24 hours — that second one was a toughie! I was also told to keep putting on a good sunscreen — broke out the Factor 50!
As this process encourages new collagen and elastin in the face, the facial’s work continues two weeks after its completion — my skin has never felt so soft before, and looks so much fresher and more youthful!
I would 100% recommend this facial — it's excellent for eradicating skin problems, like if you're suffering from acne.
Today, at the end of summer, I make my way down to Albert Road for a cheeky slice of cake and cuppa with Samantha Worsey, the founder and director of Southsea bathing Hut!
I've worked with Sam over the years on a whole load of other cultural projects, but today, it's all about her and her brilliant natural skincare business, which she started right here in Portsmouth from her kitchen table.Read More
All my life I have battled with dyslexia — even the word dyslexia is hard to spell! The first time I realised I was different from the other kids in my class was when I was nine years old. My teacher at the time told me to take my workbook to the teacher in the class below. To get to the classroom I had to walk across the playground, and on my walk to her I was my usual happy self, thinking I must have achieved some amazing work that my teacher wanted me to show another teacher!
Little did I know that this was not the case — the teacher laughed at my work and showed her class to make them laugh too. My walk back to my classroom changed me as a person. I was more cross than sad. I went from a happy confident child to an ‘I DON’T CARE’ child. Teachers be warned: children are in your care so what you say to them can cause repercussions over the span of their life.
Back in 1981, dyslexia was not as well-known as it is now — you were just deemed as being ‘thick’. Luckily, my parents have been incredibly caring even to this very day, and they could see I was a bright kid and that I worked very hard on my homework, but just didn’t get anywhere. My father had read about a new concept called dyslexia, researched further into the matter, and found a dyslexia specialist to get me tested.
Bingo! Dyslexia was what I had.
I did have to battle on with Holy Cross Junior School in Waterlooville until it was time to go to senior school, but I was surrounded by very good friends; I remember that even at the tender age of 10 years old, a teacher shouted at me to the point where my class retaliated! The retaliation was led by a young Caroline Dinenage, who went on to become the MP for Gosport, a position which she holds today. She, with the help of other classmates, managed to get the teacher to back down and leave me alone!
To my joy and good fortune, my parents sent me to Mayville High School. At this Southsea-based school, they have a dedicated unit for dyslexia, and it was here that I was taught different techniques to learn to loosen the grips dyslexia had on my abilities.
I never felt pressured or lost. The ethos was more on confidence building and nurture, so by slowing down and with a little help from my Speak & Spell which my dad picked up from the States, Mayville led me back off the ‘I DON’T CARE’ path and turned me into a confident young adult.
Unfortunately, it turns out that dyslexia is hereditary! Again, when your baby is born you would not have any indication that there is anything wrong until later in life. Around the first year in Juniors, the warning signs were coming through. The state school my son attended at the time refused to test him, probably due to the way they got their funding.
I left it for a year but could see my poor son sinking deeper and deeper into the pits of dyslexia. I couldn’t stand by and watch! My husband and I got him independently tested, and the results were mortifying. At nine years old, my son had a reading age of five and a spelling age of four. Enough was enough — we had to do something about this, and quick.
Whilst the state school my son was attending was excellent, it didn’t cater well for dyslexic children, so off to Mayville he went! Mayville worked with him and within two years he was back on track with his peers, ultimately achieving B grades in both English Literature and English Grammar at GCSE level. I know that if I had left him in state school this would be a different story.
My son is now nearing the completion of a BTEC National Diploma and is looking to go on to University later on this year.
I went on to have two more children — two girls — hoping that maybe the dyslexia might have skipped a generation, until I got the dreaded phone call in. Unlike my son’s previous school, Mayville test all of their children in Infants and Juniors through their on-site dyslexia unit.
My son, who was about 14 years old at the time, noticed that I was upset, and asked what was wrong. I told him that his sister was diagnosed with dyslexia, and he could not understand why I was upset — he just told me that it was not a problem. Right there and then, I knew we had made the best decision to send our children to Mayville. We are not high earners so we have had to go without fast cars and holidays for a few years! But it’s so worth it.
Mayville is so much more than a dyslexic school, of course — the unit is just one of the strings to its bow. They specialise in top-notch teaching, smaller classes, and the utmost quality of care. Mayville is like one big family.
Unfortunately, these new techniques came in a bit too late for me and my spelling is still so bad that even the QuickType predictive text on my iPhone has no clue what I’m trying to say! Luckily, I can talk for England and my confidence is sky-high, and I know this is down to Mayville and the way they taught me and supported me. So thank you, Mayville High School, for making me who I am today and for the knowledge that my children are in safe hands.
Recently, I've been meeting up with ladies in Portsmouth — #GirlBoss entrepreneurs — who are doing great things in their fields of expertise. Today, I met with Charlotte Cornelius in her beautiful boutique shop in the bohemian Castle Road high street.
It's always a joy to pop into Charlotte's shop — it's like stepping into a luxurious room of calm, the sort of shop you can find in Old Bond Street, but without the big bodyguard at the door or the ‘you're not good enough for my shop’-faced assistant behind the counter!Read More
The wealth of talent we have right here in Portsmouth continues to amaze me — the latest inspiring figure I've met in our great city is Amy Kellow, a classical Pilates teacher, trainer, and mentor.
Amy has been teaching classical Pilates in Southsea for 10 years, and she's a #GirlBoss of her own studio, Everybody Pilates, with partner Ed Jordan.Read More
Shopaholics, come to Portsmouth Football Club on Thursday 30th April to take a look around 30 stallholders at Your Platinum Events’ Ladies Shopping Night!Read More