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We Are Live! (19)

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Of course I know who the Beatles are, who doesn’t? Being born in another time, another culture, another everything, it would be lying to say I am a fan. But they have always been around somehow, and in my Spotify playlists.

‘This book is essential reading for any serious Beatles fan, providing a fascinating overview of a band who continue to exert a huge influence on music and popular culture.’

That is from the back cover of The Beatles: Paperback Writer, but I would add that it also appeals to anyone curious for a good story. Bringing together household names, I enjoyed picturing situations that were not caught on camera, such as the awkward meeting between the Beatles and Elvis Presley – or John eyeing up Priscilla Presley’s legs, an anecdote that I really liked. I found myself wanting to find out more about the band afterwards, and in my opinion, if a book makes you feel this then it is worth reading.

A picture of a girl running after the Beatles’ car with a police officer trying to catch her also strikes me; what does it mean to be such a big Beatles fan that you pursue them in that way? Correction: what does it mean when millions of others are having equally intense reactions to them? And then I thought about the word ‘fan’. According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is ‘a person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular person or thing.’ I was interested to know how the band felt about these reactions. I think that if something like this happens, nothing can impress you anymore. In one of John Lennon’s interviews, he said ‘We are not Beatles to each other, you know. This is a joke to us […] we turn into Beatles because everybody looking at us sees the Beatles. We’re not the Beatles at all. We’re just us.’ And I could perfectly picture them simply as schoolboys that liked music and decided to do something together. Even though this was not necessarily its purpose, this book made me think about how others appear to us depending on how we decide to see them – prior to any label, they are another human being, just like us.

Fans can bring their informed review to this book, and mere mortals like me can simply enjoy the experience, and learn more about not just the Beatles, but about those four boys behind that big name. I can say that I really enjoyed it. 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017 13:25

Guy Egmont's Tips for Speaking Like Aristocracy

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Having made your contacts, you must make sure not to upset them by ignorance of the Queen’s English as spoken by the well-to-do.

Fifty years ago, the phrase M.I.F. was coined by the late Lady Pembroke. It referred to people who put their Milk In First when taking tea. This still holds good as a social criterion though doubtless it tastes better that way.

Never talk about your wallet. The word is pocketbook. You never cash a cheque; you change one. You never purchase anything; you buy it. You help; you never assist. You wash; never perform ablutions.

A mansion is technically a house with two staircases, but you only mention the word if you are an estate agent; otherwise you refer to a house.

Never shorten the words telephone or photograph.

Never refer to ‘Town’ when you mean London. Like Oxford and Cambridge to which you go up, you go up to London, even if you are in Manchester.

Never use the word ‘fat’ except in its literal sense. Don’t speak of ‘fat jobs’ or ‘a fat lot of good that will do you’.

Never say ‘I couldn’t care less’. It’s rude, common, and usually untrue.

In spite of Emily Post, the great American expert on etiquette, there is nothing the matter with referring to other men as fellows or chaps.

A vase is pronounced ‘varze’, not ‘vayze’.
Cannes is pronounced without the final ‘s’, but the ‘t’ of Moët et Chandon is pronounced, and Krug is pronounced Kroog. Never call a top hat a topper, it is vulgar in the extreme. If it is black—and therefore mostly worn at a funeral—it is a silk hat. Otherwise it is a white top hat, or tall hat, as used at Ascot and weddings. Controversy is pronounced with the accent on the first syllable, not controversy.

It is very common to use the word ‘wealthy’. Rich, well-to-do, very well off are all right.

Never pronounce golf as though it rhymed with the first syllable of doleful. A bicycle is never a cycle or bike, any more than Monte Carlo is Monte.

Never, when giving or answering a toast, say ‘Cheerioh’, ‘Down the hatch’ or ‘Here’s how’. Make a non-committal noise and smile.

‘Cheers’ is just permissible.

A tail coat is a tail coat and not a dress suit, whatever off-the-peg tailors may call it. Ditto, a dinner jacket is not a dinner suit.

And if your hostess tells you to come in a white tie, she means full evening dress and your wife wears white gloves.

Remember that whiskey is Irish, but whisky is Scotch. Bourbon is pronounced Burbon and if you want a dry martini in France you ask for a dri.

Never say ‘drunk as a lord’. It has no meaning today.

There is no such thing as a serviette in polite society. It is a napkin—and never tuck it under your chin, even when eating asparagus.

Don’t say handbag. Say ‘bag’, just as lavatory paper is lavatory paper and not toilet paper. Expunge the word ‘toilet’ from your vocabulary, except for toilet water.

Never refer to the Albany. It is Albany, and it has no flats. It has setts or chambers.

Don’t call television ‘the telly’. It is such an obvious form of inverted snobbism.

Never make puns, unless they are terribly good.

In football, people kick goals. They no more hit them—except in badly-written sports pages—than they kick runs at cricket. It is an East End vulgarity derived from hitting someone a kick.

Never pronounce the first ‘e’ in pomegranate. Never have cosy little chats, though there is no reason why you should not call someone ‘cosy’.

A girl of good family refers to her mother as mummy, not mother, and to her father as daddy, not father.

Never call a soft hat a ‘trilby’, unless you are a detective—which you are not.

100 Reasons to Love Audrey Hepburn
(and it is not a hard task)

She was known as a fashion icon, Givenchy’s muse, UNICEF ambassador. But Audrey Hepburn was many other things. Humble and kind, Audrey always put others before her, and this characteristic was something that not even fame changed. Here are three reasons to love Audrey Hepburn:

 1. She could have died during World War II

Audrey moved to the Netherlands during World War II because her Dutch mother believed they would be safe there. However, they were not, as Hepburn was among the million that nearly starved. She had to eat tulip bulbs to survive.

2. She helped to fight the Nazis

Although her parents were rooting for the Nazis, Audrey helped to support the Resistance. She donated money that she earned from ballet recitals and acted as a courier, delivering money and papers from one Resistance fighter to another. 

3. She always kept the positive spirit

Audrey faced war, suffered malnutrition, was abandoned by her father and had several miscarriages but she kept always her confidence. She believed that nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’

Texting and talking have become a real problem but you have to understand that you can’t demand an audience’s attention, you have to command it.”

-Benedict Cumberbatch-

And he certainly did!

Let’s talk about the interesting phenomenon that is Benedict Cumberbatch! If you have not heard this name before, well, hi, welcome to the Cumberverse, you are very welcome to read this highly biased appreciation post based on facts, quotes and cheekbones.

No need to mention his films, it is hard to miss their release when the media is making sure you see enough ads to dream about them at night. Instead, let’s talk about the Benedict Cumberbatch we tend to forget.

Joanna Benecke wrote this short and entertaining illustrated biography called Being Benedict Cumberbatch. As a publishing student, I have to say that the layout of this book is amazing, and as a fan I fully recommend it as I learned a lot more than I thought I would.

So now, here are some underappreciated facts about our favourite British gentleman.

Unexpected skills

We all know he studied drama and that he is insanely well-spoken and polite, but did you know about his perfumer skills?

Benedict worked with a perfumer for six months and learned about blends and how to recognise the different notes and scents. Granted, it probably did not help his acting career but you have got to admire the skill.


I am sorry for your nightmares tonight.

Tibetan monks

During his gap year he taught English to Tibetan monks and lived with them for half a year. Benedict said that he “could actually stay with monks in their home, watch them at work and at prayer, and get the chance to teach them and interact with them.”

Born to play Doctor Strange! Also, can we appreciate the fact that he took a gap year to teach?

Waltzing with Death

This fact is a bit darker but I promise we will talk cheekbones afterwards.

When Benedict was in South Africa, he and two of his co-workers were carjacked and kidnapped while they were trying to change a flat tire.

With a gun on his head, Benedict managed to stay calm and “reason” with his kidnappers. They had been told a few days before how to behave during a carjacking, but what he did required a mind of steel and great courage. People underestimate how disabling panic can be.

It was not Benedict Cumberbatch’s first brush with death but it was certainly the most traumatic.
“It taught me that you come into this world as you leave it, on your own. It’s made me want to live a life slightly less ordinary.”

If you want more, definitely read Being Benedict Cumberbatch, it is light hearted, funny and full of the details you did not know you needed in your life. If you are still not convinced, remember that there are more than 85 full-colour photographs in there.

Happy cheekbones time!


Friday, 10 February 2017 16:34

100 Reasons to Love Ryan Gosling

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Looking for somebody to love this Valentine’s day? Well look no further than our 100 Reasons to Love Ryan Gosling book. Do you need any more reasons to love him? I think not. Here are a few facts from the book just to get your taste buds flowing.

1)     Being a Mouseketeer didn’t f**k him up

27)    He loves animals 

49)      He believes in marriage equality

55)    He was home-schooled

82)    He gives his dog a Mohawk for the summer

90)    He can play the ukulele 

The immaculate Ryan Gosling first graced our screens in the ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ back in 1993, and most recently has awed audiences in La La Land. The wonderful new film by acclaimed director Damien Chazelle has taken the box offices and the awards season by storm, with Ryan being one of the main talking points. Critics have praised his performance, his effortless singing and dancing, and his determination to learn the piano (there were no hand doubles used in any of his piano scenes).

La La Land follows a clichéd storyline, harking back to the nostalgic films of the past, such as Singin’ in the Rain. Easy to watch and easy to predict, yet the film does not fail to deliver. Following two young hopefuls in their quest to achieve their dreams, whilst simultaneously falling in love, this is a film that aesthetically thrills whilst also tugging at a few heart strings. Chazelle pays homage to the glory days of Hollywood, whittling the complexities of contemporary Hollywood films down to the basics, and rediscovering the joy in the enjoyable. 

Ryan Gosling plays the ever-gorgeous musician Seb, an uncompromising jazz artist, who dreams of opening his own Jazz club. After meeting and falling in love with aspiring actress Mia, played by Emma Stone, both embark on an all-singing, all-dancing journey to fulfil their, somewhat tenuous, dreams.

This film has been under scrutiny recently from critics and audiences alike. The hype surrounding the film has elevated it to almost unreachable heights, being nominated for a record-tying fourteen Oscars, including Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress, and winning in every category it was nominated for at the recent Golden Globes, a record breaking seven wins. Audiences have questioned whether the film lives up to its reputation. The spectacular acting from both Stone and Gosling is undeniable, but it is worth questioning whether these roles should earn these two an Oscar nomination (especially considering the snub of Amy Adams for her role in both Arrival and Nocturnal Animals). Nevertheless, their chemistry is heart-warming, and I personally found it a wonderful experience to enjoy a film from start to finish, without once feeling squeamish or awkward. Chazelle delivers an odyssey of colour, with a scrupulously clever script that contains gems of wisdom such as ‘L.A. worships everything and values nothing.’

So if you need someone to love this Valentine’s day, pop along to see La La Land clutching a copy of our 100 Reasons to Love Ryan Gosling and gaze at the Number 101 reason to love him: ‘He definitely looks good whilst tap dancing.’
Monday, 16 January 2017 12:17

Blue Monday with New Order

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Blue Monday is upon us, and we all need a little something to perk us up and get us through what has been dubbed the most depressing day of the year.

Getting back into the swing of things at work, booking any holiday we can afford, and maybe dipping into the chocolate and breaking a New Year’s resolution or two. That’s usually what January comprises. I know I’ve booked a last minute holiday, and my leftover Christmas chocolate is definitely getting eaten on a daily basis.

My Blue Monday is going to consist of comforting food, an evening on the sofa, and a little bit of New Order. If that doesn’t sound like the most relaxing evening then I don’t know what would. Whilst New Order’s 1983 single ‘Blue Monday’ may reflect our sentiments for this dreaded day, I think we should try to make it as stress free as possible.

We can play our favourite album, dance or relax to our favourite songs, but maybe skip the ‘Blue Monday’ single because we don’t want to succumb to those blues. Or, if a quieter night seems to be what we’re in need of, then we can satisfy our love of the iconic ‘Blue Monday’ with a bit of reading instead. The Blue Monday Diaries by Michael Butterworth will provide the perfect dose of rock without needing to get up and dance away from the comfort of your sofa. 

An insight into the recording studio and the life of New Order offers the necessary escapism from Blue Monday. Written from notebooks jottings about the mundane and the illicit, Butterworth presents behind-the-scene details that have never been discussed before. If you want to dance away this Monday, go ahead. Why let anyone stop you? But, for me, putting my feet up with an absorbing read and a healthy dose of chocolate will be ideal.

Even though it’s supposed to be the most depressing day of the year, I think we should try to make it happier, more of a Yellow Monday. Something that speaks of sunshine and summer time, something we all need to help us forget about winter and the impending frost. And if you can’t make New Order’s US tour and Coachella appearance later this year, just remember that Gillian Gilbert’s birthday is on the 27th January so there’s an excuse to celebrate.

Whether you choose to dance and sing or sit and read, just be sure it’s New Order on your mind and not Blue Monday. I know which I’d rather be thinking about.

Blue Monday or ‘Blue Monday’? I’ll let you decide. 
Share your Blue Monday set-up with us over on Instagram and Twitter!

January is full of New Year’s resolutions aplenty, and getting healthy is one of the most popular choices.

As you look forward to a new you in 2017, we want you to step back in time and explore the recipes created by Vera Richter in the 1920s.

Vintage Vegan is guaranteed to give you some foodie inspiration that will take you out of your comfort zone. This raw vegan recipe book offers delicious and unique food and drink that is sure to kick-start your January. 

Whilst resolutions seems like a good idea when you make them, more often than not we all slip up soon enough. Instead of dreading your healthy eating, and daydreaming of chocolate at your desk, let Vintage Vegan
take you on a journey to discover the extensive options available to you whilst on a vegan diet. Those January blues will cause no more trouble once you start a fulfilling and satisfying vegan lifestyle.

Here’s how Vintage Vegan can help you to achieve your goal:

  • If it’s the 3pm sugar slump you struggle with then Vera’s coconut caramels or peanut butter confections will do the trick.
  • Liven up your salads with the sesame seed dressing or simplicity dressing.
  • Buying an unhealthy lunch will be a thing of the past with Vera’s tomato-cream soup or summer salad.
  • Keep up the Christmas spirit with vegan mince pies and Christmas spice cake.

By using Vera’s recipes inside Vintage Vegan, your energy levels will be boosted after the comfort food of Christmas. An extra boost will help to combat your January blues and make your Monday mornings something to look forward to.

The nutritional benefits are abundant in the most popular recipes from the first raw vegan restaurant. And we want to share that goodness with you to help ensure your January is the best it can be.

Beating the January blues has never been easy, but sticking to your New Year’s resolution has never been simpler. 

We made our own peanut butter confection which you can see here!

Let us know if you’ve tried any of the lovely recipes!

You can buy a copy of Vintage Vegan here.

It’s that time of year again when everyone begins their ‘new year, new me’ mantra in hopes of becoming the best version of themselves.

We’re here to tell you that you’re already the best you, and don’t let the popular New Year’s resolutions tell you otherwise.

Don’t worry about the amount of chocolate that you’ve eaten, don’t worry about the emails stacking up at the office, and don’t worry about the one too many cocktails you had on Boxing Day. There’s no need to feel down or worry about the inevitable.

Whilst others are making commitments to be a better person, Guy Egmont will reassure you that you and your manners are already impeccable. Instead of January being a time for change and renewal, Manly Manners for the Impeccable Gent is here to celebrate your timeless etiquette that requires no alterations.

Manly Manners is a satirical guide for the sophisticated gentleman, designed to debunk any myths about social etiquette. From dinner parties and business meetings to the English accent and facial hair, Guy Egmont’s advice will ensure that you continue to be the gentleman you already are.

Soon your friends will start complaining that they’ve been saying yes to more invitations than they can cope with. Just remember that you’re in the all clear because all those ‘white lies on the telephone’ were ‘as convincing as possible’, leaving more time for you to do the things you enjoy.

If you feel a little rusty and simply want to freshen up your manners for the New Year, some pieces of advice within this humorous guide include:

-          If you earn a reputation as a good mimic or an amusing gossip, you won’t go very far.

-          Never be sarcastic to anyone, whether in public or in private. It can be very wounding and will never be forgotten, particularly by newspapermen.

-          There is nothing that a rich man likes more than to be asked for advice.

-          Never punish your host’s brandy or whiskey unduly.

So, forget about those resolutions. A sophisticated gentleman like yourself doesn’t need to make promises in order to shine this January.

Instead, be unforgivingly you.

What better way is there to combat those January blues?

Let us know how you’re being unforgivingly you this January on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

It’s always exciting to see hard work come together when we receive the finished copies of our books. One of the most recent to touch down in the Plexus office is Vintage Vegan, by Vera Richter, a title that I’ve been working on since starting here as an intern in March.

On the surface, it’s a raw food recipe book, but its significance goes much deeper. Vintage Vegan is a collection of recipes from the world’s first raw vegan restaurant, opened in California in 1917. Anyone could be forgiven for thinking that the raw food movement is an emergence of recent years, but Richter takes us to the roots of this long-standing dietary choice, showing us her early interpretation of raw veganism. In Richter’s time, California was a hub for individuals following raw food diets and embracing what were considered ‘alternative’ lifestyles. Her restaurant, The Eutropheon, became a place for influential figures in the alternative lifestyle movement to meet and exchange ideas.

Richter’s recipes return to the essentials of raw foodism. Fewer ingredients were available when Richter was writing these recipes, almost a century ago, but she manages to produce tasty and filling recipes that have stood the test of time to be as satisfying today as when they were first conceived. Most of the ingredients required can be found in any supermarket, so not only are her recipes are easy to execute, they are also very economical. This was no doubt an important consideration for Richter, as her cafeteria-style restaurant served hundreds at a time.

Months of proofreading and editing Vintage Vegan left me eager to try out some of Richter’s recipes for myself. I have chosen one that particularly appealed to me, a peanut butter confection (to be found on page 88). This recipe demonstrates the wonderful simplicity of Richter’s approach, requiring only two ingredients – dates and peanut butter.

          15555628 10158054646190045 1589737323 n

I used the dates that were most readily available to me, Sayer dates, but I would recommended using a more meaty, juicy variety such as Medjool to make your treats feel even more indulgent. Peanut butter could be substituted for another nut butter, if desired.

The method was fairly simple, the dates had to be chopped in a food processor and then stirred into the peanut butter to combine, before rolling and shaping. Unfortunately I found myself lacking when rolling them into equal sized balls; although a straightforward task, my treats emerged rather non-uniform. I made a last-minute decision to coat them in ground almonds to add an extra dimension to the taste.


Although my substandard food prep skills leave these less aesthetically-pleasing than Richter no doubt intended, the finished result was delicious! 10 out of 10 for Vera Richter’s Peanut Butter Confection from the entire Plexus team, who sampled the fruits of my labour this morning.

15451300 10158054650805045 1904787736 n

Have you been trying out any recipes from the book? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

Buy your copy of Vintage Vegan here.
Feel overwhelmed by the excess of eyeliner, eyeshadow, eyelash curler, mascara, eyebrow pencil, eye primer, face primer, face powder, concealer, foundation, blemish balm cream, rouge, blush, contour cream, contour powder, highlight, bronzer, lipstick, lip cream, lip gloss, lip liner, lip plumper, lip balm, lip primer, lip booster, lip stain, and nail polish, to name but a few, that submerge your eye line as soon as you enter the beauty aisle of your local supermarket? You wouldn’t be the first, and you can be sure you certainly aren’t the last. We women today are given an incredible range of products ranging from the almost necessary to the useful to the does anyone ever wear that but, coupled with a constant bombardment of seemingly perfect and effortless beauty queens, this excess of choice quickly takes all the pleasure out of making ourselves look beautiful. Well, if you’re looking to effortlessly improve on your look and tailor your collection to your specific needs, look no further than Laura Slater’s Hollywood Beauty.

Hollywood Beauty is the quintessential beauty and make-up Bible, filled with instructions to match and conquer your look and fill you with confidence, and complete with perfectly chosen stunning photographs of all your favourite beauty icons throughout the ages. Portraits of Katharine Hepburn, Claudette Colbert, Sophia Loren and Blake Lively, among many others, grace the glossy pages of Slater’s book and provide a necessary diversity to the concepts of beauty and glamour, proving once and for all that you can be stunning with any look.

Slater walks us through painstakingly detailed illustrations of how each and every (relevant) body part of yours can be made up and fashioned to not only complement your complexion, but to bring it to even greater heights by pairing it with the likes of Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard, or perhaps Dita Von Teese – the choice is yours, and plenty of choice is certainly one thing Hollywood Beauty provides! We are thus treated, for instance, to a table detailing the ideal eyebrow, mascara, eye shadow, and eyeliner work necessary for four different types of eyes on pages 52 and 53; Slater does not do things half-way and you are guaranteed to feel ever more satisfied as you turn the pages of this book. And on a side note, that satisfaction won’t simply be coming from the content as you get to treat you fingers to a gorgeously glossy, well-finished and beautifully coloured product which mirrors the beautiful looks portrayed within. So take the extra time to read through Laura Slater’s make-up Mecca before your next trip to buy some – and be sure you’re ready for the myriad of compliments you will soon be receiving!

Order this book on Amazon NOW!

Any bloggers/vloggers out there, we are currently offering review copies. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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