I never used to have such brittle nails, but in recent years they’ve done nothing but split, crack and (often painfully) break. I’ve tried strengthening coats, biotin supplements, B complex supplements, omega supplements, CND Rescue Rx oil, more strengthening coats … Nothing has worked.

I recently stumbled upon Bliss Kiss Simply Pure nail oil and decided to give it a go. The product is being shipped from the US so it could take a while to get here. The creator of the Simply Pure nail oil has kindly listed the ingredients on the site. In the meantime, I’m trying pure jojoba oil, applying it to my nails, rubbing it in, waiting until the nails have soaked up all the oil and feel dry rather than oily, then doing it again. Just now, it takes about five minutes for my nails to absorb it all and feel dry.

This is the state of my nails after two days of jojoba oil. Today is 07/08/2020.

You can see they look dry, they’re split and peeling, and the right thumbnail is torn right down to the quick.

12/08 I did frequent coats of jojoba oil, as above, for four days. Then I got hold of some applicator pens and filled them with jojoba oil, vitamin E gel and plant squalane. I cleaned my nails, applied a base coat, and have continued to apply the treatment multiple times per day. This is my nails today. I don’t see any improvement so far.

Today is 17/08, so ten days into the jojoba oil treatments. I removed the base coat a few days ago and have been doing multiple, frequent treatment applications. My nails are still dry and absorb the oil very quickly, but I think they are looking a bit better (the hairy background is in fact my cat).

The order from Bliss Kiss is held at the sorting office because there was a £12.71 customs charge, but I paid that today, so with any luck it will arrive in the next couple of days. I will switch to the Simply Pure when it arrives, and continue to update this post.


The Bliss Kiss package arrived on the 19th. I’ve been doing the same – painting my nails and the surrounding skin multiple times per day. The photos below are my nails today. Next, Bliss Kiss recommend cleaning the nails with alcohol and painting them with a good base coat. They specify a base coat rather than a base/top coat because base coats are formulated to stick to the nail surface. I will also keep applying the oil several times a day.

They are looking better aren’t they?

07/09/2020 Things have gone a bit tits up since the above.I applied another base coat, then got carried away and applied a couple of coats of my current favourite nail polish, Camo by Revolution Beauty. Like all the nail polishes I’ve ever tried, including gel manicures, it was chipped at the ends within 24 hours. I left it all on for a week though, so as not to dry my nails with remover. Once I’d removed it, my nails weren’t great – flaky and chipped at the ends and they were breaking very easily, especially as I assembled a new cat tree, and spent a weekend doing a big batch cook with my hands in and out of water. I kept oiling my nails and about a week ago applied another base coat, which I removed yesterday.

I don’t think my nails like being painted, even if it’s just with a base coat. They look healthy enough when it’s on, but when I take it off, the ends are split and peeling, and they break. Or maybe they’re ok with the base coat but react badly to the remover. I dunno. Anyway, my nails are bare just now and I’m back to frequent multiple oilings.


I think my pattern for the next wee while will be wearing a base coat through the week, with regular oilings, and remove it at the weekend for frequent oiiing. Ideally I’d like to get to a point that my nails can survive without a base coat. To that end, I’ve been reading a bit about the benefits of dietary sulphur for the hair and nails, such as this article. I’m going to try sulphur supplements (MSM) and see if that helps.

20/10/2020 A couple of months if oil treatment and base coat, and a month of sulphur supplements, and they are definitely looking better (the gloss is base coat).

The Smell of Bullshit, part 79: More Alternatives

Last year I discovered Merumaya, courtesy of a giveaway from The Pool.

The Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm is great. I’ve found it copes well with everything except stubborn mascara, and it leaves skin soft and happy. Apply a small amount to dry skin, massage it in, then massage again with warm water and remove either with water or with a face cloth. It works as hard as Andy Murray and it lasts for ages. It makes a great first cleanse if you’re someone who likes a double cleanse.

The eye makeup remover is equally effective, including on stubborn mascara. I find it a little bit sting-y on my over-sensitive eyes so I have to be careful with it and rinse well afterwards, but after a day of contact lenses, cat allergies, Scottish winds and computer monitors, my eyes are knackered and tender. I’m sure people with less wimpy eyes would have no issues.

Merumaya mineral cleansing paste is a gorgeous exfoliator. The texture is very fine so the exfoliation is gentle rather than scratchy but still effective. My skin feels smooth and almost polished after use.

The Lavender Eye Makeup Remover from Stripped is my current favourite. It’s a blend of four organic oils and I’ve found it removes eye makeup gently but effectively. It has a pump dispenser and one pump of oil is enough for each eye. I massage it gently into the eye area, concentrating on the lashes, and it loosens and removes mascara and clears away eye makeup without any stinging.

Another great cleansing balm is the apricot butter cleansing balm from Beauty Pie. To me, it looks and smells like The Body Shop mango body butter I loved in the 90s. Like the Merumaya balm, I don’t find it enough to remove waterproof mascara, but otherwise it’s effective, gentle, smells great and lasts for ages if you can resist the temptation to hoik great gobs of it out of the tub.

Talking of mascara, I also really like the Beauty Pie Flash False Lash Mascara. It gives a jet black, glossy colour, and lengthens, defines and separates lashes. It’s noticeable but not OTT – ideal for work/daytime wear.

I haven’t been offered any kind of reward or recompense for reviewing any of these products.

How the press lied about the little girl staying with Muslim foster parents. Here are the facts.

Pride's Purge

The tabloid press (and I include The Times in that description) lied about the story of the little girl put into care with a Muslim family.

Here are 10 of their worst lies – along with the real facts of the case as we know them:

1) According to court documents, it was the police not the local authority (as stated by the tabloids) who decided the child should be put into foster care:

2) According to court documents, the foster family criticised by the tabloids was a temporary placement.

3) According to court documents, the child herself is from Muslim heritage and her Muslim grandmother has now been cleared by the courts to look after her. This fact is only disputed by the girl’s mother but none of this was mentioned by the tabloids as it would obviously totally destroy their narrative:
foster muslim 4

4) The temporary foster…

View original post 387 more words

Susie Dent’s Guide to Swearing is top bollocks

Strong Language

Fuck, shit, bollocks, twat, bloody, and cunt are not the seven words you can never say on television – they’re six words that Susie Denthas said on television. Susie Dent’s Guide to Swearing, a new mini-series from Channel 4, offers an informative and irreverent summary of the history and use of some of our favourite bad words. You can watch the full series below.

A word-history specialist and broadcaster, Dent has written several books on language, most recently Dent’s Modern Tribes. She is best known as the resident lexicographer in ‘dictionary corner’ on Countdown, a perennially popular British TV game show. We can’t not mention that Countdown inadvertently produces the odd rude word to great general amusement.

Though she…

View original post 380 more words


I hope the people whose neglect allowed this to happen go to prison for a long, long time. Sympathies to the families and friends of those affected. Best of luck to Grenfell Action Group. Thanks to the emergency services and the NHS.

Grenfell Action Group

Watching breaking news about the Grenfell Tower fire catastrophe. Too soon (5am) to even guess at numbers of casualties and fatalities. Our heartfelt and sincere condolences to all who have perished, to the injured, to those who are bereaved or are still searching for missing loved ones.

Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC.

ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time. Below is a list of links to previous blogs we posted on this site trying to warn the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, who own this property, and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation who supposedly manage all social housing in RBKC on the Council’s behalf:

View original post 8 more words


Local authorities often use their own employees to run polling stations during election days and to count votes once the polls have closed. This is because they can be sure that the staff will be available for training and are guaranteed time off from their real jobs, and because it’s easier to pay them as they’re already on the payroll.

Consequently, I have worked as a polling clerk (at the polling station) once and as a vote counter numerous times. Take it from me, the idea that you need to vote in pen to prevent people tampering with pencil votes isn’t just offensive, it’s laughable. Staff take the integrity of the process very seriously and would not condone or collude with vote tampering. Take a pen if you want, but there’s really no need.

The Jar of Nice Things

Inspired by something I saw on facebook or elsewhere online, last year I put a glass jar on the mantelpiece, and every time something nice happened, I wrote it on a bit of paper and put the paper in the jar. Now it’s time to look back over the pieces of paper and see what I thought was worth writing down. Pulling them out of the jar randomly –

  • 30/07/16 – Ghostbusters!
  • 29/09/16 – the halal butcher gave me a massive bag of chicken offcuts for the cat and didn’t charge me
  • 15/01/16 – client gave me a massive panettone
  • 07/05/16 – weekend in York for my dad’s 70th birthday party
  • 24/09/16 – bought a new piece of furniture from Ikea, assembled it myself, and then covered the top of it in plants
  • 11/04/16 – swimming coach didn’t make a single correction to my butterfly technique (other than a reminder to point my toes) and when I asked why he wasn’t saying anything, he said he didn’t need to because I was doing it right
  • 13/03/16 – lovely cuddle with the cat before getting out of bed (several more of these)
  • 29/08/16- took the cat for a walk in the Queen’s Park and he scampered around in the grass while I read my book
  • 01/12/16 – a client who has been quite difficult at times apologised for his behaviour and gave me a home-made curry
  • 14/03/16 – managed 2 x 15m of full stroke butterfly
  • 22/09/16 – allowed to bring the cat home after an overnight stay at the vet
  • 01/09/16 – saw an exhibition of Royal fashion through the decades with my mum at Holyrood palace
  • 30/08/16 – went through to Dunbar and spent time with my mum, her sister and brother in law, and his parents who are well into their 90s
  • 08/04/16 – student finished placement and left a very thoughtful card and a positive evaluation


That’s a nice variety!

George Michael

Anyone who has heard Wham!’s Ray of Sunshine knows that George Michael understood the joy that music can bring to people’s lives. I was a teenager in the 80s, and I was a Whamette. I loved other music too, particularly Queen, but Wham! were my teenage love band. I had my first slow dance with a boy to Careless Whisper.

Then Wham! came to a natural end, George went solo, and I stayed a fan. His voice is still the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. There’s a lot being written today about his gay activism, his generous donations to charity and to individuals in need, and, of course, his incredible talent. One day soon I’m sure I’ll be ready to think about all of those things, and to listen to the joyful songs – Club Tropicana, Outside, Amazing, Bad Boys, but for now, all I feel is grief and loss and sadness.

Making fists with your toes: Towards a feminist analysis of Die Hard

Excellent analysis

Another angry woman

Content note: This post contains spoilers for the film Die Hard, which you will have probably seen already since it came out in 1988. It discusses death and guns.

It gives me life when a certain sector of thin-skinned Nazis get sad about films I like. From Fury Road to Star Wars, their tears bring me joy. Since, like many other people, my favourite Christmas film is Die Hard, it is my intention to highlight how this film is in fact a celebration of femininity, and perhaps one could even call it feminist, for a rather Eighties value of feminism. Am I trolling? I don’t even know any more.


Our hero John McClane is more of an Ellen Ripley than the Roy Rogers he insists that he is when talking to other men. There are some explicit parallels between Ripley and McClane: both deal with their terror by talking…

View original post 2,037 more words