RSS Feed

May, 2009

  1. Costume update: Tube stations

    May 28, 2009 by Amy Hansford

    Thanks to some friends recently attending a Tube Station themed party, the above named costume list has been updated with more ideas and now pictures too. So have a look at the new and improved Tube Station costume list.

  2. Costumes: Excellent 80s

    May 23, 2009 by Amy Hansford

    The key to decade themed parties is to pick up on key trends. Fashion, music, movies and tv are the things that people remember the most, they being what was represented in the popular culture of the time. Today’s theme is the Excellent 80s, so here’s a few ideas.

    Adam Ant – stand and deliver!
    Alf (US link) – I have no idea how you’d do this, but I’d be impressed.
    Back to the Future – will you be Marty McFly or Doc Brown?
    Bananaman from Acacia Avenue.
    Basil Fawlty offering the back of his hand to Manwell.
    BBC Test Card
    – blonde wig, chalkboard and freakish cuddly toy.
    Beetlejuice who says an alarming number of naughty things.
    Blues Brothers – you’ll notice that some of the best and most iconic films were made in the 80s.
    Boy George (Culture Club) with braids and every colour of the rainbow.
    Breakdancer – don’t forget your bling and practice your moves.
    Care Bears – with the Care Bear stare.
    Carrie – white dress, red colourant, ace costume.
    Charlie’s Angels because it grants the best team pose.
    Cocktail – black logo tee and shaker. Everyone’s friend at a party.
    Dangermouse with his faithful companion Penfold.
    Darth Vader/Princess Leia/Luke Skywalker et al from the Empire Strikes Back.
    Debbie Harry (Blondie) with the big blonde hair and dark roots.
    Dirty Dancing – don’t spend the whole night in the corner.
    Doctor Who was Tom Baker in the 80s. Big hair and big scarf.
    Edward Scissorhands although perhaps not in a confined space.
    ET – remember to phone for a cab at the end of the night, not just home.
    Flashdance – in dance outfit or in overalls, just leave the water at home.
    Fonzie from Happy Days. Eehhhhhhhh!
    Frank Spencer – keep referring to Betty in your flasherjacket.
    Frankie Goes to Hollywood – hey – relax!
    Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street.
    Ghostbusters – because it must be in as many of my lists as possible.
    Gizmo/Gremlin – I will love you forever if you do this costume.
    Grotbags – the greenest witch pre-Elphaba.
    He-Man compelte with sword. Could even have a fight with Skeletor.
    Indiana Jones – a whip can be very handy you know.
    James Bond is the costume for every decade.
    Jason Vorhees – the one with the hockey mask from Friday 13th.
    Jessica Rabbit from ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’
    Knightmare – with an oversize horned helmet.
    Labyrinth – but only if you play with your glass balls.
    Madness – bonus points if you do the walk.
    Madonna all in white with lace and bows. Remember your beauty spot!
    Magnum PI – genius excuse for a massive moustache.
    Mermaid from ‘Splash’
    Miama Vice with a white suit and coloured tee, remember to roll up your sleeves.
    Michael Jackson with his silver glove, white socks and loafers, team with black leather jacket for a ‘Bad’ look or a red leather jacket to give a ‘thrill’.
    Mork from Ork in his red lycra suit with shiny triangle.
    Mr T or indeed anyone from the A Team.
    Olivia Newton John from the ‘Let’s Get Physical’ video – legwarmers, headbands and lycra agogo.
    Orville the Duck with the man attached.
    Ozzy Osbourne as the Prince of Darkness always lights up a party.
    Pob – no spitting please.
    Prince all in purple with a bit of stubble for ‘Purple Rain’
    Prom night – consider your taffeta gown, your corsage and your perm.
    Punk was all the rage. Think black leather mixed with denim and bright hair. Love your lipstick.
    Queen in a group of four, each wear a black top and choose a member of Queen to dress the head as. When questioned on who you are, run into a group? with your heads in the right place and start singing.
    Rainbow – such choice in puppetry!
    Rainbow Brite – shiny fabrics ahoy!
    Ralph Macchio (the Karate Kid) in your white uniform, head tie and a bit of wax on, wax off.
    Red Dwarf with a H head, robot face, Cat clothes or boiler suit, you’re set. Or just a black rollneck.
    Robert Smith (The Cure) – black black black, with a smidgeon (or smudge) of red lipstick.
    Rod Hull & Emu available from all good retail outlets.
    Roland Rat – Alright ratbags!
    Rubix Cube – it’s amazing what you can do with a cardboard box.
    Scarface – white suit, water pistol and scar.
    She-Ra – Brilliant chance to wear a cape.
    Smurfs and of course, Smurfette
    Spit the Dog
    worthy of his own entry.
    Superman – see, that stag night costume *can* be worn again.
    Superted with his friend, Spotty.
    The Breakfast Club if you can blag a gang of you to go, this would be mega fantastic.
    The Incredible Hulk – green it up!
    The Young Ones – choose from Neil, Vyvyan, Rick or Mike.???? ***new***
    Thundercats because everyone fancied Cheetara as a boy.
    Tiswas – Are you OOOOkaaaaay, the Phantom Flan Flinger, or HoudiElbow?
    Toni Basil in a cheerleader outfit from ‘Hey Mickey’.
    Top Gun with a jumpsuit and helmet. Don’t forget the shades.
    Toyah Wilcox because we love her. Colour, glam and attitude!
    Transformers – hey, people are really inventive with cardboard!
    V – get with the lizard face!
    Weird Science – jumpers + bras on heads. Pazzaz.
    Wham – choose life, and a quiff!
    Willo the Wisp with Mavis Cruet the Fairy.
    gives you the golden opportunity to demand booze.
    Wonder Woman – the tv heroine of the 80s.
    Worzel Gummidge – don’t forget the robin inside your tummy. And Aunt Sally.
    WWF – not the animal one, the wrestling one. Spandex, masks, and the occasional snake in a bag.
    Yuppie – with the introduction of mobile phones the size of a large brick, another sleeve roller. Remember the hair slick.
    Zombie from ‘Day of the Dead’

  3. Buying a house

    May 17, 2009 by Amy Hansford

    Following in the footsteps of a friend? who has done something similar, I’ve decided to keep a basic track of the house buying process. More for my own delight in efficiency and organisation than anything else, but I like to think it’ll be helpful for other first time buyers.

    Do bear in mind that if something took us two weeks, it doesn’t guarantee it’ll only take you two weeks. Every house sale is different, so just see it as a time guideline.

    We started looking around properties in April 2009. We decided to look at non-terraced houses (from a sound point of view) and we knew we wanted a garden, garage and/or driveway, within 3 miles of the train station to allow for commuting and three bedrooms to allow for a guest room and office.

    We saw an upside down house, a multicolour bungalow (twice), a tiny house, a big smelly house and a house on a marina. In all the initial viewings we looked at the space, facilities and general order. We realised we wanted to move in somewhere with no work needed, which led us to see the house on the marina again.

    On the second viewing (mid May – we could only do house stuff on weekends) we thought ahead about what we wanted to lookely more closely at and what questions we wanted to ask the vendor. We looked in more detail: up in the room space, at the state of the wooden balcony (being by the marina made me suspect [correctly] the wood could be damp and rotten), kitchen space issues (we’d need to sacrifice the washine machine for a freezer or visa versa) and vermin issues around marinas (rats, ducks etc).

    The day after the second viewing (Alex advises to not jump on immediately or you look too keen and you won’t get a good deal) we rang the estate agent to make an offer. It was ?12,500 under the asking price as we had to consider the following:
    – replacing the upstairs and downstairs wooden balconies
    – new downstairs toilet and basin
    – purchase of our white goods
    – making an interior door to the garage (needed as we’d be putting the washine machine and dryer in there as per the kitchen space quandry)
    – solicitor fees
    – moving fees
    – survey fees
    We wanted to stay in budget, hence why we factored in all costs. We were also aware that we wanted to stay under the ?175,00 mark – over this and you have to pay 1% tax on the house. However, we also said we’d like to negotiate fixtures and fittings. At the same time, we put in a lower offer than that which we were willing to pay, preparing for the offer to be rebounded and needing to raise it a little.
    This means you can say ‘we’ll also have the curtains, light fixtures and that nice wardrobe for ?xxx’ and it’s counted outside of the purchase price.
    The estate agent came back twenty minutes later, said they understood our offer as it was in keeping under the stamp duty bar and that the vendor would accept ?175,000 on the dot. After a quick chat, we called back to confirm the offer of ?175,000, and thus began the next stage of the buying process: fiddy bits.

    So to review:
    1 month: house viewings (over two weekends)
    1 day: offers made and accepted.