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Vivien of Holloway Lana Dress


Holding an original 1930’s cord bag with lucite handle and zip pull. Shoes by Johnsons Originals.

On VE Weekend this year, I was once again supposed to be singing at the VE Festival in Evesham. This wonderful event had moved to Ashdown Camp in Evesham and we were all excited for the new beginnings of a very successful and popular show! The VE Show was going to be sponsored by Vivien of Holloway in 2020 and I was lucky enough to be sent one of their Lana dresses to wear whilst performing.

Unfortunately Covid-19 dashed our plans and all events have obviously been cancelled for this year. I was still able to do a photoshoot of this beautiful 1940’s style dress with the talented Paul W Russell Photography. Our backdrop was the breathtaking Kenilworth Castle, of which I will have the pleasure of visiting later this month.

So, back to the dress! The fit is quite roomy compared to Vivien of Holloway’s more structured dresses (e.g. the Sarong). I ended up going for a VoH size 16 in this. Do NOT confuse their sizing with standard UK ones! Frustratingly, their sizes are based on vintage ones, so the 16 is infact a 12 UK. As I mentioned before, this dress definitely has more give, so that is why I went for the 16 instead of an 18. Im usually between a 12 and 14 UK and very curvy (40″-31″-40″), so always struggle with bust to waist ratio on dresses. This fit very well and the style is flattering and comfortable.

Vivien of Holloway now have a huge range of colours of the Lana dress and I would definitely find it difficult to choose which shade to get! And guess what? IT HAS FLIPPING POCKETS! YAAAAAAAS!!!

Inn-Dependence Day 4th July 2020


As lockdown is slowly eased across the country, people are taking their first tentative steps back out into the world.

Much has changed. Some shops have closed for good, others have lines snaking through car parks just because people need decking or a plant pot. I have now ventured past my neighbour hood and I was hit with emotions mixed between excitement, dread and anxiety. Shops that are open are doing their utmost to create a safe space and an altered reality for customers. Don’t be fooled, this could go on for a year or more depending on whether a vaccine is found and whether we open our borders too soon.

The government understand the need for morale in these difficult times and even opened garden centres so that we could channel worry and stress into a therapeutic pastime outdoors. We can now have picnics and meet up with friends outdoors as long as we still stay 2 metres away which is a real blessing!

On 4th July pubs will start opening across the country, serving outside as far as I’m aware. Whilst I am pleased for the landlords as so many village inns have closed in the past 20 years (especially since the smoking ban), I have my concerns about how they are going to assist drunk patrons in social distancing, plus all that drink needs to go somewhere and how many wash their hands after using the facilities?

Image copyright Stephen Craven

Some pubs have been fantastic during Covid-19 lockdown; doing takeaway menus like the Snitterfield Arms. Fish and Chip Fridays, Burger Tuesdays, Sunday Roast abs even Indian have been a fantastic treat for locals AND kept the pub in business with new customers as well as old. I think this way of thinking should be extended for a couple more months before we see a second wave of Covid.

I personally don’t drink. Don’t need it. But I I would really like to hear opinions from drinkers themselves. Is a picnic with bottled beers and friends not enough? What are your thoughts?

Lockdown Costume Walks Continue…


I thought I would share some more photos of Betsy and I dressed up on our costume walks! For over 10 weeks we have been keeping up morale (our own, our neighbours and friends online) by cosplaying our favourite characters.

Hermione Granger and Professor Trelawney from Harry Potter

My favourites have been our Harry Potter inspired walk (above), Frida Kahlo and her paint palette (scroll down for images) and Snow White with the Evil Queen!

Rock n Roll!
Just before singing to my neighbours

I’ve enjoyed singing to the street and it’s great when people come out of their homes and watch from their gardens and paths from a safe distance.

Buzz Lightyear and Jessie from Toy Story!

My eyes are actually some I made for my old Corpse Bride Cosplay. You can just about see through them. I drew on Buzz’s eyes with face paint and they are held on with thin elastic and eyelash glue… and yes, they were bloody uncomfortable and a nightmare to figure out where you’re going and who you are waving to!
Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.
Guess who was Dum…
Nice easy one and great for kids! We had the Alice in Wonderland soundtrack playing on my phone.
Off to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to a little boy down the street. Note the balloon and tiny party hat. Betsy is wearing her Queen Elsa costume as this is our Ice Age ensemble…geddit??
My tiny face paint palette is certainly getting a workout!
Ursula the Sea Witch
Ariel, the Little Mermaid and her Dinglehopper.
The boat is our garden pond. It’s called the Bootle Bumtrinket after Gerald Durrell’s boat in My Family and Other Animals. A perfect prop for Betsy’s mermaid costume!
Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother. Betsy’s bag is a popcorn holder that I got from Disneyland Paris last year. Best purchase ever!
You may recognise the gown from a Cinderella shoot I did with Lee Parker a couple of years ago. I trimmed it down to make it more wearable and used the train as a shoulder wrap.
Betsy was NOT in a dressing up mood, so I dressed as Jessie from Toy Story and she wore her Woody T-shirt as a compromise.
You’ve got a friend in me…
You try and get a decent selfie and get photobombed by a cat’s bum.
I had been waiting to pop this Star Wars costume on again! I made is around 3 years ago to wear at Birmingham Comicon and got to meet the legend Warwick Davis! He loved it so much, he got his son to take a photo of us so that he could post it on Twitter! I also heard him mention my outfit on the radio a few days later. So I give you… Princess Leia on Endor, riding and Ewok.
Saving the universe and defeating the dark side gets a bit tiring. This Princess Leia dress was actually an adult one I had never worn. I just cut off the bottom, a bit of sleeve and glued the Velcro on a different bit of the belt to cinch it in! Her hair buns were made from a mouse tail I made for the school nativity play. My tights filled with cushion stuffing, I just cut it in half and rolled each half up before stitching to stop unravelling. They were light enough to be attached with a couple of hair grips!

Snow White
And the Evil Queen!
Absolutely LOVE this Disney Villains costume!
Taken by Rachel Perks
I could not get her to smile! She was happy, but was in a sultry posing mood and wouldn’t grin for toffee. Rapunzel from Disney’s Tangled.
Motherrrrrrr knows best! Mother Gothel cosplay! She is one of my favourite Disney characters.
Safari Tours!
Weirdly enough, I have had this gorilla costume for around 12 years and never worn it! Bought to create a burlesque routine, but my asthma couldn’t handle the restrictive mask. Managed to keep this on all down the street, but couldn’t wait to get it off!
One of my lovely neighbours gave me a banana…
Betsy’s outfit was nice and simple! I used permanent markers to write on a plain T-shirt.
This was Betsy’s favourite! She has always wanted a Wednesday Addams outfit and someone very kindly sent her some money to buy a toy and costume of her choice! A very lucky little girl! The wig is an adult one and fits really well. It’s cheaper than the kid’s version!
Morticia Addams! Love The Addams Family and this dress lends itself perfectly to this gothic beauty. I’ve actually worn this gown 3 times on our walks: Melificent, Ursula and Morticia.
Just a silly one. I have an Elvis jumpsuit T-shirt that I wore with my white Heyday Online trousers and sang some Elvis numbers.
Frida Kahlo cosplay! Complete with her pet deer. The wig is actually Betsy’s Wednesday Addams one!
Frida’s paint palette and brush! I made these at 8am that morning out of a cardboard box and acrylics. Not bad eh?
Taken by Rachel Perks
Guess who…?
Crazy Cat Lady!
Weirdly enough, this was one of our most popular costume picks on Facebook!
Princess Jasmine and Rajah the tiger from Disney’s Aladdin!
Betsy’s wig is actually my Morticia Addams one!
My trust face paint palette again. Tried to copy the animated version of Rajah as well as I could. Would’ve been great if I hadn’t got it too close to my eyes as it stung to buggery and made my eyes stream all down the street! Never mind, I was proud of my efforts!

Studio 10 Interview

Studio 10 Interview

Studio 10 on Zoom

On 7th May 2020, Richard and I were interviewed for Australian television! Studio 10 set up a Zoom video call at 10.15pm to be broadcast at 11.20am Sydney time. I was still trying to get over a migraine, so was ready to crawl into bed, but luckily adrenaline kicked in and I managed to stay up!

It went very well and we were asked about our lifestyle, fashion, diet, wedding and the similarities between the Covid-19 isolation and WW2. To this latter question I replied that there were no similarities what so ever apart from community spirit and the need to stay calm and safe. The war was horrendous and shouldn’t be compared to this situation. Unfortunately that question was edited out of the recording!

Kitten Von Mew

The only other bit edited out was when I was asked about my 1940’s ration diet. I told them that that information was purely British tabloids trying to create a weird story and we certainly weren’t on 1940’s rations. The rest is in there though, so enjoy!

You can watch the interview HERE.

VE Day 75 Celebrations 2020

VE Day 75 Celebrations 2020

008 ve day - mew family web

Who would’ve thought that in these uncertain days of isolation that we could get so many people together (safely distanced) in joyful celebration and remembrance.

007 ve day - Chris, Janet and Eve web

Flags were flying, bunting hung and the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement as the whole street prepared for the 75th anniversary of VE Day. This special day celebrates Winston Churchill’s famous speech that WW2 was finally over.

012 ve day - decorations web007 ve day - Bunting web

This anniversary has come at a time where community spirit is again so important in keeping spirits lifted in a difficult time.

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On thursday evening Richard and I did a Zoom video interview for Studio 10, an Australian news programme on Channel 10. It aired at 11.40am Sydney time, although due to the time difference, we had to do the video call at 10.15pm!

On Friday morning at 9am I had a visit from the BBC Coventry and Warwickshire van and was interviewed live about the day’s upcoming events.

002 ve day - kitten singing web003 ve day - kitten von mew singing web

At 11.30am I started my live singing set, which was also featured on Facebook for those in carehomes, hospitals, workplaces and homes worldwide. Viewers in America, France, Germany, Australia and Britain all joined me as I sang a selection of 1940’s classics to my neighbours and the photographer from Stratford Herld. I had a slight hiccup in Watch the Birdie, when my ‘mummy head’ clicked in as betsy hurt her finger. All words went out of my head as I watched and mentally checked that she was ok, whilst mumbling incoherent nonsense through the microphone. Ok, good Richard is getting her a plaster. BHAM! Back to singing head. Where am I in the song? Shoot this is going out live! Ok, just smile and look like you know what you’re doing… “Watch the Birdie, let’s take a candied camera shot, Watch the Birdie come on let’s give it all you’ve got, Watch the Birdie just  pick a flop-n-derp-n-bop and hold it!” ha ha ha!

010 ve day - remembrance bench web

I decided to raise funds for Combat Stress, my favourite charity, who help veterans young and old (as well as their families) dealing with depression, PTSD and anxiety. There are already too many vets dealing with homelessness, addiction and psychological problems associated with their time fighting for their country. Combat Stress is here to assist those struggling. For those who would like to donate, you can do so HERE and 100% of the donations will go to the charity. The link will be active for 2 weeks after VE Day, do if it is no longer working, you can contact me directly!

005 ve day - Betty web006 ve day - Julie and her dad web009 ve day - Sascha and family web

It was so wonderful seeing everyone enjoying themselves and coming together as a proud nation. It just shows that even in these depressing and worrying times, we can create strength and joy to see us through.

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There was music playing, people having picnics and BBQ’s and even an ice cream wagon giving out free ice creams and waffles! Thank you to all who made the day so incredible special and memorable, and remember…just  pick a flop-n-derp-n-bop and hold it!

023 ve day - perks ice cream truck web

021 ve day - thankyou card web024 ve day - spam sandwiches and scones web

Stratford Herald Comes on Kitten Von Mew’s Walk


youtu.be/3EhtLMo1s_c

Thank you Stratford Herald for your support!

Walking Away Those Blues


Well, Betsy and I are still doing our crazy walks down our road and even managed to make the local paper. Thank you to the residents who got in touch with them!

Stratford Herald. Main image by Mark Williamson, Tinkerbell image by Kitten Von Mew, Santa image by Rachel Perks, other images from residents of my road.

I’ve also got a few more images of some of our other walks below…

Dorothy from Wizard of Oz
Glinda the Good Witch
Alice in Wonderland
White Rabbit
White Rabbit/ Easter Bunny
Taken by Rachel Perks
Pebbles from The Flintstones!
Pebbles and Her Pet. How do people wear this in marathons?! I was struggling after an hour!

Covid-19 Morale


I hope you have all been staying safe and healthy in these unsettling times! It can be incredibly intense and claustrophobic being isolated, but you are doing great.

To update you with what I’ve been up to…every single week day, my 4 year old daughter and I dress up in a different theme and take our 1 hour of exercise time. My plan was to create some crazily cool memories for Betsy, focus on something fun by dressing up and bring some morale to the street. I suffer with depression quite badly and love the escapism of fancy dress or costuming. The fact I can use this outlet as a ray of sunshine for other people and keep my mental health more-or-less stable in these uncertain times is brilliant.

I began by writing a list of characters we could do and even bought a mic that has a little inbuilt speaker so that I could sing to the residents too. At first we only saw a couple of people looking, but now most of the street waves or twitches their curtains at 11.30am each morning!

When I moved here 4 years ago I became familiar with about 4 people in my street. Who would’ve known that a desperately worrying time would lead to so many more friendships being formed from 2 metres away?

So far we’ve done Disney Princesses, Unicorns, rainbows, fairies, Maleficent and a dragon, Steampunk dolls, Mary Poppins, Dorothy Gale (Wizard of Oz) and Glinda the Good Witch, 1940’s, 1950’s and my favourite… Santa and his elf!

Taken by Rachel Perks

It was BAKING this Tuesday and I was dressed in full Father Christmas outfit, complete with beard, wig and hat. I had ordered a pack of 50 toilet rolls that I stacked inside my cart, which was decorated with tinsel, a reindeer and more! I put some vintage festive songs on my Bluetooth speaker and we made our way down the road. Everyone who waved got a toilet roll and I ran out! I left one on a parked ambulance, along with some sweets. “Ho ho ho! Meeeeerrrrry Covidmas!”

Taken by Jon Mulkeen

What else have I done? Oh! I wrote a parody of ‘It’s in His Kiss’ (made famous by Cher in Mermaids). It’s called ‘Is it Covid’ and you can see it HERE.

Taken by Kizzy Warner

I’ll keep you updated on happenings. I’m just trying real hard not to lose my marbles. X

Day 1 of Covid 19 Self Isolation


1.) Richard to start mowing lawn. CHECK

1a.) Get Flymo caught in clothes line, propel towards daughter and hurl lawnmower away from child like Superman saving Earth from a giant meteor. CHECK

1b.) Break Lawnmower. CHECK

2.) Kitten to move precious plants out of the area to be populated with Betsy’s playhouse and relocate them. CHECK

2a.) Trample upon said plants, whilst trying to position Wendy house and make sure previously unmoved plants get a foot-battering thanks to bum-prickle by rose bush. CHECK

3.) Break kitchen door lock because B&Q is obviously shut. CHECK

4.) Pull tap handle off in kitchen because it feels left out. CHECK

5.) Try to forget there are 12 weeks of this left. PENDING