Wednesday night was fab! All the Taekwondo family got involved to help me film my Talent Video that is one rounds within the Miss England finals. Lots of kicking/hand technics, pad drills and a bit of self defence thrown in for good measure. All the girls talent videos are amazing there are singers, dancers etc. but I wanted to be different hence choice TKD. I also as you know have a horse which I love and would class as my first sport however, this is more out of my comfort zone and exciting on camera. I hope everyone gets to see it at the final as there has been a lots of sits ups, press ups and sprint spots to get me to where I could be for the video!
Last weekend saw me leave my home territory and head for a lovely weekend away, with my partner Lee, to Liverpool! Apart from the 3 & ½ hour journey up there due to traffic, we arrived in one piece. After checking in we headed down for a late tea in the restaurant which consisted of two HUGE pizza’s and a cheeky bottle of rosé wine…a girl has got to relax! After our meal we waddled back to our hotel room and I have to say it was lovely can’t be a classy Premier Inn.
With a great nights sleep, we had a very filling breakfast and headed to the train station that was about half a mile down the road, which took us directly to the famous Albert Docks. It was a tad blowy being next to the choppy sea but it was great to feel the sea breeze on our faces. I love the hustle and bustle of the city life once in a while, and there were lots people wondering around the docks looking at all the historical museums, statues, bars & restaurants right next to the sea. You can tell it is all old industrial buildings, as they are all big, tall and square in straight lines down the coast line. You can really imagine what it was like many years ago when ship making was a big thing in the area.
Behind the main cobbled road is the square harbour which again lots of memorabilia shops bars and restaurants which we walked round…several times as we got lost! In the old sailor shop I found two new friends, Salmon and Carp J these were soft toy fishes that childishly, I did play with for a while but shhhhhh! After finding a table to book for later on that evening we made our way along the harbour where we saw the ‘Love Locks’. This is a traditional part of visiting the docks with your loved ones, where you have a padlock (ideally engraved with your names on and the date you visit) which you lock onto the chains that the length of the sea wall. We saw thousands of locks of all different shapes and sizes , it was overwhelming to see how many couples/family have done this over the years and how much love there really is worldwide. Then we hit the shops! The centre of Liverpool is fab for shopping, with the new 4 storey outdoor centre which has a park on the top level, to the old city centre…our feet were killing!
After 6hours of shopping…yes 6 hours! We made our way back to the harbour to catch the famous Mersey Ferry back over to Birkenhead. It was very brightly painted and we managed to sit at the front on the top deck! When we set off, the tannoy guided us along the river bank explaining some of the more historic and famous buildings which was great.
Once docked, we walked the short way back to our hotel where we had snooze (very tired), we went down to happy our and then got ready for our posh meal. With a quick train journey back into Liverpool, we arrived at Gustos Liverpool which is a gorgeous, romantic, European cafes inspired restaurant. We were seated on he top floor, with an overlook of the harbour, which we had walked round earlier. The service and food was to die for. Lee was rather adventurous with his food selection choosing muscles to start with and a Lobster & Prawn Spaghetti. I, on the other hand, such to traditional Spaghetti Bolognaise and garlic bread…mints were required after !!
It was lovely spending a few days away from our normal busy day to day lives together in a great city. It does make you appreciate who we have in our lives and how much we are supported by our loved ones. So all in all a great weekend with a perfect man !!
After reading Rowan Pelling’s take on Beauty Pageants, I would like to counteract the article with a fresh look on todays current official Miss England pageant, I am due to take part in, in August this year. I have pick out several points I feel are out of date comments and personal opinions that are non factual.
First of all I would like to kick off with this quote, “Fast forward to the present day, and beauty pageants seem as relevant as white gloves and Playtex girdles…..They would rather be Lena Dunham, Beyonce or Amy Poehler than Miss UK. Little wonder contestants are thin on the ground.” Playtex girdles, AKA big pants are as relevant in this current civilisation, to all ages of the population as they were 30 years ago. If there is a demand or interest in an event, product, organisation etc. then this would determine that there is a relevance in society. I consider the statement that refers to these current celebrities to be a sweeping statement about the female population, especially on the age range that the competitions offer. I hold the title of Miss Worcestershire and the main thing my journey to winning the title taught me, was to be yourself as an individual. Yes you can aspire to achieve certain qualities of a celebrity, but again they all their own person and bring different attributes to the modern world. A celebrity can use their influence and power to set an example or get a message across promoting charities, the work they do and support, this is exactly what winning the title of Miss England/World can enable you to do on a large scale. We have so many charities these days that the general public and beauty pageants ladies support, so therefore I am certain there is a high relevance for the Miss contests.
One of my goals as Miss Worcestershire is to change peoples preconceptions about modern day pageants. It is not just about how you look in a bikini or a ball gown dress, it is so much more that people and even I didn’t realise. I am in this years Miss England contest and there a numerous round such as the sports round, you need to be healthy as we all do in life this doesn’t mean you need to be able to get through an army cadet weekend but to show willing and support one another on the day. There is the Eco round, this consists of al the girls making an outfit out of recycled materials and products. This shows how creative and imaginative we can be! There are many more rounds which some are more historic such as Talent, Top Model, Miss Congeniality that all count towards your final score. Most importantly we have the Charity award. This goes to the girl who raises the most money for ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ and I believe is one of, if not, the most important round. Another quote is “Looks may still count, but they aren’t paramount, or even key to winning” and this is connected to shows such as X-Factor and Britain’s got Talent. This is the most genuine comment they make in the article but push it in the direction of these talent shows. Are we not as Miss England contestant promoting this fact more than anything with all the work we put in?
Winning a title and place in the finals is a privilege no just a name. It shows that it is most defiantly all about the work we all do for the wonderful charity ‘Beauty with a Purpose’, that we make friends for life, supporting each other and above all be ourselves. Anyone can be beautiful on the outside but it is what’s on the inside that matters. We are ambassadors to the pageant for each of our regions, where people look up to us to represent, encourage and promote dignity, self confidence and natural beauty world wide. All the girls national have earned their place by hard grafting, publicising our charity work and organising our pageant life around our day to day jobs…yes we are NORMAL GIRLS! This leads me to my final quote, “You can’t help suspecting the £250 prize money has something to do with the lack of enthusiasm”. In my personal opinion, this comment is unspeakable. Clearly no time has been taken to research or interview any real girls taking part in the current competition. On my Eco dress alone for Miss Worcestershire, I spent 23 hours in total and that doesn’t scrap the surface on the time I personally took to fundraise for my charity events. We can all vouch for each other girl in the competition we do not ‘lack enthusiasm’ but most defiantly the opposite!
Thank you for reading my counter article and hope that if I have changed one personal opinion it will have been worthwhile writing this. To all the other girls, organisers and supports of our Beauty Pageants we know we work hard, we know that there is a relevance in our lives to take part and we WILL carry on!!
The start of Sunday morning was an extremely soggy one! In torrential rain we kicked off our show with myself on
Showjump judging duty, it was safe to say we were soaked through…even my sausage sandwich was disintegrating !! As the morning went on it brightened up to lovely warm sunshine and everyone got involved and supported each competitor as they did their class. Unfortunately we had two young riders that day part with their pony’s but all was fine. They brushed themselves off and clambered back on board and had another go!! Its such an inspiration to watch our club members persevere and achieve their goals. I have been judging the show jumping now for nearly three years, I am not going to lie, it is hard work! We, as committee, dedicate the whole of our weekend to set up, make the event run smoothly, judge and clear away after, but it makes it all worth while when you receive such positive comments about the show and how we run it. A benefit of judging over this period of time is that we get to see horses, and riders of all age develop, mature and grow as partnerships which is wonderful to see. I thoroughly enjoy it and hope to be a part of the committee.
I had a fab Saturday afternoon at Overspoke Bike shop in Bewdley, where I was presented with a bike to do phase 2 of my ‘Personal Triathlon’ on. This is a great opportunity and it’s wonderful to receive such amazing support from a local company. This bike should help me keep within my 6 hour target to complete the challenge where I will be being supported by my partner Lee, Mom Lisa and my Uncle Anthony. It was lovely at the shop looking at all the different spec bikes and I also had a really interesting conversation with some visitors who do lots of charity work for ‘Help the Hero’s’. It is great to hear what other people get up to raising money and supporting other charity’s locally and on a larger word wide scale.
Friday morning was another very early start to drive down to Watford to take part in the ‘Fresh Academy’ phase of the competition. For those of you who know me well, I normally drive to destinations with printed or hand wrote directions...well this time I borrowed a satnav…where have they been all my life!!? After getting there in one piece I got myself ready and we started the shoot which was very speedy but had some great results (I think!). It was nice to be in a studio for a change instead of being out on location as they are a different type of shoot to me and require different things. On locations I have been to it is relaxed and you chat and take your time to get great shots whereas a this studio shoot was quicker more reliant on me to make myself look good in position and above all it is a business therefore the atmosphere is different. It’s great to be involved in different shoot and scenarios.
Friday afternoon I rushed back from Watford and picked Penny up and we drove down to Cirencester for a fashion show. At these fashion shows we model the clothing for the guests and hold the same item of clothing on a coat hanger so that they can feel the material and see the quality up close and personal. His helps as it then adds to the experience for the lady’s that are there to purchase garments. We had a fab review and the team have booked us for further fashion shoots!
First thing Thursday morning I was up early and off to Hereford for a morning in the picturesque & historic gardens of Hampton Court. I was meeting the Miss England photographer there, Kev Wise, where I was hoping to extend my portfolio and get a swimwear shot for the ‘Beach Beauty’ round. We started in the sunken gardens which had a waterfall, little covered balcony, still water pool, and stepping stones which had a stream running through them into the pool. I cannot describe how gorgeous the place actually was. I had brought along the Enzoani Black Dakota dress that I wore to the Miss Worcestershire finals and this looked fab in the balcony and when we moved into the maze. In the middle of the maze was a tower. It had a beautiful pink stone which complimented the dress and my skin tone, with an old stone arch way. We did get a bit lost in the aMAZing maze but eventually found our way out J. After the tower we moved to the lavender gardens which smelt as exquisite as they looked. It was complete with a still moat around the two identical huts that arena centred in the middle. Finally we went exploring and found the rapids which were a short walk down the drive….not going to lie it was freezing and I smelt like a pond after but we got some fab shots!!
To finish off the day I had a quick ride on the horse, then Lee and myself packed the bikes in the car and went up to the Wyre Forest as part of my Triathlon training. We were out for 2 ¾ hours and cover 13 miles of which were practically vertical hills…it was safe to say we were shattered when we got back! (Had a cheeky Indian takeaway to recover!)
Sunday the 5th July saw Mr Birmingham, AKA Josh, and myself travel up to the beautiful Kelham Hall in Nottinghamshire for the semi finals. Josh was competing in the Mr England ‘Top Model’ round and I was going along to show my support to all of the girls taking part. Everyone looked surprising calm and well organised when I got there so hats off to each and everyone of them as they all looked stunning!!
Hollie, Miss Leicester, had arranged to do her beauty with a purpose fundraiser there which was selling balloons with raffle tickets inside so I helped her sell some of the balloons which was fun mingling with all the guests. Had a good catch up with my Team West Midlands girl Jade (Miss Black Country) and watched the show.
The standard was super high therefore we are in for a cracking Miss England Final in August. Winning a title and place in the finals is a privilege. My personal goal is to change people opinions of pageant and show that it is most defiantly all about the wonderful charity ‘Beauty with a Purpose’, making friends, supporting each other and above all being yourself. Anyone can be beautiful on the outside but it is what’s on the inside that matters. We are ambassadors to the pageant for each of our regions, where people look up to us to represent, encourage and promote dignity, self confidence and natural beauty world wide. I am still extremely grateful to everyone that supported me and helped me achieve the Miss Worcestershire title and who are following my journey to the Miss England finals!
My Miss Worcestershire title has helped enabled me to take part in different events/shoots. Todays shoot was amazing! I received our Miss England finalist packs for August and one of the rounds is the ‘Beach Beauty’ award which is a swimwear image. Personally I feel swim wear works best in a tropic or beach backdrop rather than a studio. Therefore with this in mind I set about researching where I could potentially do either of these locally. A work colleague gave me a great idea which was the Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm. With the hot tropical plants, insects and climate I decided it would be perfect and bring something unusual and different to the competition. I sent an email to the farm explaining what it was for, about the pageant and how I would love them to come on board and they said YES!! My fabulous photographer Jo and I had a great morning shooting with the butterfly and a snake….yes a snake!! I had to squeeze fresh oranges on my hands, arms and legs for the butterfly to be tempted and land on me (I did smell like a fruit salad!). It was amazing they were absolutely beautiful, so delicate and graceful which meant we got some lovely shots!
Semi final weekend and a very busy one at that !! Friday saw my lovely other half come home from his holiday. We had a lovely BBQ enjoying the summer sunshine with my brother, Alex and his partner Penny…..yes we survived and did far too much food as usual and could have fed the 5000!! Mother hen, the grandparents and my other brother Thomas had been on holiday to Fuerteventura (lucky devils) and returned home this weekend too so it’s ben lovely to have all the family back. My family is so import to me, we all support each other and are their when it matters. We all have such busy lives so it is great when everyone comes together. My mom, Lisa is amazing and will help us all in anyway she can, whether that’s coming to watch us at our events, organising things or just being mom in general and I really appreciate her. My mom will be supporting me at the Miss England finals along with my Nan and Boyfriend Lee which will be brilliant. I couldn’t ask for a better family and love them all!!
Last night saw the West Midlands team, Miss Cheltenham and Miss Leicester take part in the Edwards Trust charity take on ‘The cube’. It was absolutely lovely to meet up with everyone, new and old faces and take part in an event for a fabulous charity.
We first had photos in all our lovely summer dresses and the guys in their summer shorts (it was extremely hot!!) in the cube and with the Edwards Trust banners and vest tops. The game then started with different team members doing various challenges such as stepping over the high pole blind folded, memory game and the nail maker! We were all doing really well!!
Had some lovely selfies with the gang to make the night memorable too but the main thing is it was great for the charity.