Another Lindy Flop

 

Contrary to popular belief I don’t always like complaining. I know, here’s a chair for you. Don’t fall over.

However.

I’d spied this dress on Lindy Bop ages back and I instantly fell in love with it. Black and white stripes are my jam. You’d be amazed how difficult it is to find them on a dress or skirt in plus sizes. I really wanted it, with an orange cardigan, for Halloween. But you know, money and responsibility, and adulthood bleh bleh yuck.

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Well as you can see I got over that and just bought the damn thing. (It was also on sale, ha!) I was so excited because I’ve always wanted to own a black and white striped dress. A bit late for Halloween but sod it, it was mine.

Then it came.

I know by now that buying anything with Lindy Bop is a bit of a roulette. Their sizing, while slightly improved, is still pretty poor. At least on the plus size side of things. But I felt confident that given it was such a simple dress I couldn’t go wrong.

HA.

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It’s safe to say that I felt a bit like an overstuffed sausage about to burst out of the casing. It has a weird waist line that goes into a flared skirt. As you can see, with the smaller sizing of Lindy Bop it spoils the shape on my body, which I guess could be slightly rectified by the belt they provided but they NEVER FIT. Every single Lindy Bop dress I’ve ever kept, or tried on and sent back, the belt has NEVER fit. I honestly don’t know if anyone who designs for Lindy Bop has even seen a fat person because I don’t understand how you can make a belt smaller than the garment it came with?

 

You see how the waist line mismatches with the skirt? Weird. Also very disappointing. I was expecting this to be like the Lady V London Hepburn dresses; simple sleeveless cut. Apparently not. It also manages to flatten my tits down so that’s good, eh?

Speaking of the bust this is another issue I have with the fit. It manages to squash my boobs as well as have a huge gape? I know a bateau neckline might be tricky to navigate with boobs but come on.

 

What is this crap?

 

Are there any good points? Well, yeah. It has pockets? Wahoo! It’s also quite a thick material so it’s good to wear across most seasons. I like the length on me. I love that Lindy Bop are expanding into different prints and colours. As someone who likes the vintage aesthetic but also likes bright colours and vivid patterns it ticks the boxes. Shame I can’t wear half the fuckers. Will I stop buying from them? The sad part is, no. My choices are limited. I’m just stuck playing a guessing game where the only person who wins is the post office.

 

I did keep the dress. Mostly because there isn’t anywhere else that does this pattern in my size. My complaints are things I can live with. I’m just sad that I have to.

 

Outfit details

Dress: Lindy Bop

Cardigan: Peacocks

Shoes: Demonia “Sprite 01”

Beret: Domino Dollhouse

 

Photography by Grace Johnston.

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New Year, same shit.

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There’s been a trend among brands in recent months that, honestly, is pissing me off.

Christmas and New Year is always a rough time for anyone battling with body issues as it’s rife with jokes about feeling fat/eating everything/feeling gross and associating it with fatness. The usual rude associations with fatness. But what I find most galling with this is it’s a lot of plus size brands doing this. It’s bad enough that we have limited clothing options as it is without further narrowing our parameters to not include brands that are literally insulting their demographic.

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Fat people experience a lot of bigotry, they are more likely to receive inadequate health care due to biases levelled at them, if they even  drum up the courage to go because they are anxious about the fat shaming they know they will experience anyway, fat people see the incessant message that thinness is the ideal in every source of media they consume and now they are being shamed by brands that are allegedly catering for them?

Is there anywhere we can go where we aren’t being shamed?

This need to be relatable with brands often comes across as really corny anyway, but it’s harmless jokes about hating Mondays so whatever, but with then insipid slew of “New year, new you” bullshit is this sewer of fat shaming from brands who should damn well know better.

Here’s an concept: how about you focus on selling quality clothes for fat people and stop insulting us? Put as much effort into your twee and relatable social media as you do taking the time to learn about how clothing works for fat bodies, how to not charge us ridiculous premiums, and make clothes that are on trend and fun to wear? How about that,hmm?

 

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Christmas 2016; where did it go?

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Christmas is a funny old time.

Considering that it’s a holiday when joy and togetherness is so encouraged it can be an immensely isolating and stressful time. I’ve not been terribly prolific on social media recently (though when am I ever?) mostly because I’ve been working so much in the run up to Christmas and then I took a week away to see my family up north.

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M6 Northbound

It was a far too brief a trip. I had no money to do anything, I was too late for any Christmas markets, and I feel like I barely saw anyone, and I had no tie for any walks. But the small snippets I had were lovely. Kendal was especially magical this year. I think given that this time last year everywhere was underwater there seemed to be special effort with the decorations, and people seemed more friendly and upbeat than usual. Everywhere you looked were gorgeous, sparkling lights. The weather is much colder there and I loved walking through at night, where the streets are deserted, and it’s just you and the dog attempting to eat stuff off the pavement.

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On the plus side I did have some reconciliation with my dad. We haven’t been on speaking terms much and I haven’t seen him for nearly a year. It felt good for things to feel normal again.

In other news my cars brakes failed driving back from Mums in Cleator Moor. The A591 is an unbelievably breathtaking drive, lots of bends and hills as it winds around the lakes and foots of fells; it is especially heart racing when your brakes are failing.

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All good things must come to an end and I was back in the Midlands before I knew it, which wouldn’t have been so bad if I weren’t working on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I felt very disconnected from the festivities and missing my family made it more so. It felt like a disappointing end to a disappointing year. I did get to spend Christmas morning with my two favourite lads, and I got some truly wonderful gifts, but I felt like I was just waiting to go to work rather than relaxing and enjoying the day.

This is why Christmas can feel so anxious; there is such an enormous expectation to have fun and spend time with people and it’s not for the lack of wanting to but sometimes those things are not accessible to people.

I wish I had some cute outfit posts, I wish I had party stories, but the fact is that’s not always the reality. But for those who had a less than bomb ass Christmas I want you to know that things will pick up, there are people out there who feel how you feel.

Even with my own disappointing end to the year I can look back on this photo and know that the whole thing wasn’t a total flop:

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Lumber(ing)jack: Yours Clothing Checked Tunic Dress

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It’s pretty magical (and lucky) to have a talented photographer as a friend. The weather has been pretty grim here; warm and damp reminiscent of spring, like it’s clinging on to the last vestiges of summer. But as our days off collided the weather brightened, and while still warm, had a more welcoming chill of winter than in recent days.

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She very graciously agreed to take some photos for me and so with the good fortune of lovely weather and a dog who needed a good walk we took to Grafton Woods for our amble.

I don’t know why I don’t come here more often. I miss my home and all the easy access to amazing scenery it brings and sometimes this affords me an opportunity to ‘get away’.

 

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I had recently purchased this tunic dress from Yours Clothing and I felt like it would be a crime not to traipse around the woods and not wear plaid. Not to be a cliche, but growing up in the 90’s I always coveted flannel but being fat and not having ready access to the internet I wasn’t able to own any. Now I get to live my grungy 90’s grrrl dream in my 30’s. Better late than never.

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I sized up with this because I wanted the oversized, baggy look. I was drawn to it because of the unusual colour combination. I’ve never worn rust before but it seemed to be a perfect match with my new hair colour.

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The material is so soft, it’s gorgeous. Very comfortable to wear and not too heavy without being flimsy. It has rolled up sleeves secured with a silver popper, the same detailing down the front. This is great because you can wear it as a dress or open as a shirt with a basic t-shirt (or any kind of top you want!) underneath.

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As much as I love this I did have a little disappointment with it. I washed it before wearing it and in doing so it caused one of the poppers on the arm to come away, which I will have to sew back on. Disappointing as this isn’t a cheap item.

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I wore my lovely NYX Lip Cream in Copenhagen. I’m a real fan of them and I’m hoping to start building a collection.

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I’m wearing:

Tunic dress: Yours Clothing sizes 16-36(I can’t find this colour combination on the website. I bought mine instore so you might have more luck there.)

Boots: Dr Martens

Leggings: Evans sizes 14-32

Lippy: NYX in Copenhagen

 

Photography courtesy of ever wonderful Grace Johnston 

http://www.gracejohnston.co.uk/

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Alternative gift guide!

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Contrary to what many people might think about me I actually really love Christmas. I love the aesthetics, the food, the smells (honestly, apple and cinnamon room spray is like a year round must for me.). I love the idea of walking around a German market, wrapped up warm, cradling a cup of mulled wine.

 

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What I don’t like about Christmas, apart from the Park hamper adverts starting in September, is the insipid gift sets that swell over the shelves. I just think that shit is so lazy and boring. So what do you get for that spoopy pal in your life? Taxidermy? A vial of blood of the innocent? I mean, I guess but that seems kinda impractical and probably hard to wrap. So stick with me while we navigate some stocking filler ideas for the beloved greebo in your life!

 

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Starbucks Bahomet Hip Flask | Pizza Socks | Cuterus Pin

 

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Avocado mug | Perfume bottle | Makeup Utensil Kit

 

 

Now you don’t have to hate getting socks for Christmas! Secret Santa doesn’t have to suck! Shitty toiletries kits be gone! Happy shopping!

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‘Out of this world’ babes and NYX Cosmic Metals Lip Cream Review

A couple of weeks back I had the pleasure of being invited to a little blogger meet in London at Stratford shopping centre. I finally got to meet two good blogger pals, Mookie and Leah, for the first time as well as getting to meet some new faces. I was really excited. Sharon and I traversed the tube before ending up at a glittering Christmas laden Westfield. After some dallying we headed out to do some shopping.

A heads up, Westfield Stratford City is abysmal for fat shopping. Though to be fair I think we all knew this and were just killing time until our meal reservation. I requested a pit stop into Boots for some dry shampoo and naturally we found our way into the cosmetics section.

I’ve recently become a bit of a fan of NYX. I’ve bought some under eye cream and 3 of their Soft Matte Lip Creams so far and I’m pretty chuffed with all of them so far. Much to absolute delight there was a NYX counter in this particular Boots. The staff looked INCREDIBLE. Their make up was amazing. I was cooing to the others about the lip creams and urging them to give them a try, when Leah and I came across the new Cosmic Metals Lip Creams.

Leah being the bad influence she is on me anyway convinced me to buy one. All the colours are pretty amazing.

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Image taken from NYX Instagram c/o @laurelfreedbeauty

Naturally I opted for the green shade, Out of This World. I’ve been on the hunt for a green lippy and so far I’ve only seen ones from Lime Crime and Jeffree Star, which I’m not touching with a barge pole. So I was excited to find green shade, that’s cheap, and a brand that (so fat, fingers crossed) are pretty un-problematic. This one is an emerald green with a green and gold pearl.

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With my little win bought and tucked into my grubby paws we headed out to dinner. We were booked in at a lovely Brazilian place, Cabana. Great service. Lots of laughs, lots of chat, a little belly ache, and we were parting ways.

You ever meet people and immediately feel like you’ve known them for years? That’s how they all made me feel. I forgot just how much I feel revitalised in company like that.

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Picture outrageously stolen from @curvywordy

 

So what is this? Some kinda diary? Where’s the bloody lipstick?

Ok, ok it’s here.

I was a bit hesitant to buy it, despite it’s amazing colour, because even though it says lip cream it’s pretty glossy.

Fuck it, though, right?

So I LOVE IT. The colour pigmentation is gorgeous. This is just one coat:

 

Super pigmented and glossy. It’s very opaque. As someone who’s pretty hamfisted I found them easy to apply. The long applicator and the doefoot brush made it easier to get quite a crisp (for me) line. The formula is very thick, almost gloopy. (Ha, I love that word. Gloooooooopy.)

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I will say that be mindful that a lot of product comes out on the brush so if you want to build up the cover it might be tricky. As I said the forumula is very thick and so this might not be the best for daytime wear. I haven’t worn it all day but I can’t see it being long lasting past eating and drinking. But it’s a knockout for a night out if you’re into a poured on look.

I did try blotting my lips and I found that it still looked great. Gave it a more matte looking, almost steely finish.

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For £7 this is a total bargain. Amazing colour, highly pigmented, and a lot of bang for your buck. I’m not going to rush out and buy many glosses but this is a little shimmering jewel in my collection.

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Spoopy Halloweenie 2k16

Did you all have a fun Halloween?

I think this may have been one of the best in ages. My super rad chum Sharon at Rad Fat Feminist invited me to spend Halloween with her at a couple of events and I was so down! I spent about three days putting together a costume which, for me, was pretty awesome considering the complete lack of fine motor skills and any crafting ability.

I’ve recently dyed my hair orange and I wanted to try and incorporate that into my costume. I opted to go for Keyleth, the druid, from the Critical Role show on Twitch.

 

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Friday night we went to a house party and I got to meet some of Sharon’s super awesome friends and hopefully made some friends there too, including Michaela from Cardiffornia Girl.  Saturday night we went to Club Indulge , a fat positive club night, with some of the folks from the house party again in fancy dress. While I was totally up for it I was a little cautious about the club night. I was worried it was going be a little fetish-y but I had nothing to worry about. It was a total blast. Everyone was super friendly and there was a really easy going vibe to the night. The DJ couldn’t phase songs together to save his life but it didn’t hamper the night and if nothing else we got a pretty eclectic mix of music throughout the night.

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It was interesting to me, as someone who isn’t bothered about going out on the town, how much more comfortable I felt at this kind of club night. I didn’t think I’d feel different at all, but I did. I haven’t been out much since I quit roller derby so I don’t have much to compare it to, but I think there was a notable difference and I’m really glad that people are able to create these safe spaces for fat folks to be able to have fun and socialise.

I was pretty tired from such an intense weekend of partying, staying up late, and kipping on Sharon’s floor. I crawled into my hoodie on the train home but grateful to have had such a great time and the opportunity to hang out with some many rad folks.

As sad as I was so leave everyone I got to come home to my favourite pumpkin:

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Hope your Halloween was extra spoopy!

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Goodbye Summer with Simply Be

Like the diligent and motivated blogger I am I found these photos that I took at the end of summer and just kinda forgot to get round to putting them out. You can tell by the scorched earth and clouds that summer was coming to a close but it was still warm enough to go out without a coat. This outfit is really simple but I love it. It was so cool and comfortable. All that’s missing is a big, witchy hat.

 

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I’d been after a bardot style top like this for ages and after much hunting a found one in Simply Be. I’ve never been a customer of them before so I always forget to check them out.

The material is a gorgeous, cool jersey and has stretch for days! I put this with my old maxi skirt from New Look. I’m not great at accessorising in the summer because I just feel irritated. I popped on my new sunnies I got from vintage store, Wild Clothing, in Nottingham. Such an easy outfit to wear what it’s just too dang warm.

 

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For someone who spent the majority of her girlhood in black I seem to have a surprising lack of it in my wardrobe now. I think the coming autumn is the time to rectify this.

 

Ruby xoxo

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LondonEdge A/W 2016

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Image credit:LondonEdge
Zombies? Check. Sequins? Check? Gravity defying platforms? Check!
Sunday 4th of September saw the start of the 34th LondonEdge show back at the British Design Centre in Islington. For me, a much better venue than the previous Olympia. The event is huge, and the spacious centre with lots of light coming through, it made the experience much better. Though it was on two levels so would require use of lifts for wheelchairs. Not to mention an onsite cafe with comfortable seating and reasonable pricing was another bonus over the uncomfortable steel chairs and extortionate food at the previous event. A much welcome respite from the busy day!
My day started with a surprise appearance from Tanya boarding my carriage who it turned out was also attending.

She was meeting Becky at Kings Cross. I joined Tanya for breakfast at The Parcel Yard while waiting for Becky to arrive. We took seats outside and waited for our meals. I started feeling like a bit of a celeb as we had a few people stop to talk to us and compliment our outfits, and even had a woman approach us claiming to be an artist and could she take our photo! Our Eggs Benedicts arrived and there was this excellent moment as we both munched down at the same time letting out a little moan, turning to look at each other. God damn, those were some delicious eggs!
It didn’t take long to get to Angel, another bonus for me. The venue location meant much easier access from St Pancras. As I said the events pretty huge and covering every stall would be nigh on impossible-ok not impossible but that’s gonna get a bit boring and time consuming, so here’s some highlights for me.
Upon arriving our first stop was Woody Ellen. She’s an artist who makes her pieces into gorgeous handbag sets. A wonderfully warm woman, who looked stunning in a beautiful sky blue outfit. She also gifted us with a purse of our choice and I got to pick from my favourite collection ‘ Blossom’
One exhibitor I’d been dying to see was Isolated Heroes. LondonEdge shared a dress of theirs prior to the event that had me gasping. The folks on the stall were gorgeous and super friendly. They’re an amazinf indie brand who’s sizing comes up to a 24 but I was told that they were happy to take custom orders! My favourite piece by a country mile was this sequin jacket.

 

 

LOOK AT THAT MERMAID SHIT. Ahem. Yes. Sorry. It’s just so perfect.
Expanding my online shopping list as I went along I came across the most adorable stall from Punky Pins who carry amazingly cute and super detailed pins and patches.

 

 

I am absolutely going to be placing an order with these guys for my battle jacket when I get a minute to myself.
Another stall I loved was Dolly and Dotty. I love their classic retro looks, at a competitive price, but another great thing is that many of their items come in different colour combinations. I’m the worst blogger because I was so busy chatting to the amazingly lovely staff I forgot to take any photos. *Jean Ralfio voice* the woooooorst.
However one of my favourite pieces of theirs was easily this gorgeous cape in red.
It’s just so cute and oh so soft I couldn’t stop touching it. It comes in different colours too so you can make it work with loads of different outfits. They also had some cute jersey tops which, again, super soft and also nice and stretchy. This cape is absolutely on my to-buy list! Also how amazing does their model, Isabella Bliss, look??

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Image credit: Dolly and Dotty
Iron Fist were knocking it out of the ball park with their amazing mermaid shoes too.

 

 

Look at them!! So shiny!! Heaven.
One exhibitor that really surprised me this time was Demonia. I’ve always had a soft spot for them in my early, shoe gazing gothy years and I own a couple of pairs of their big ole clompers but it’s interesting to see how the brand has developed over the years. One of my faves for sure.

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I little hidden jem was an indie company called Koolies Kreations. We had stopped by but the stall holder was out to lunch. We’d headed over to the cafe and she actually came and found us! She bounded over with her big curls, big smile, and big sparkly boots. She was super passionate and really great to talk to.
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It wouldn’t be a trip to London Edge without stopping by the Pin Up Academy stall. They offer complimentary hair styling and even had a little studio set up if you wanted to pay for a photoshoot. The ladies all have a filthy sense of humour and there was much cackling, particularly with Sinderella’s little merkin.

 

 

 

We also managed to bump into fellow blogger Diana

 

After we schelpped around all the stalls we headed out for a quick bite to eat at Ed’s Easy Diner. I must admit, as burgers go it was pretty awesome. I waved the ladies off as I hurried to check into my air bnb. I had enough time to freshen up and change before heading over to the Islington Metal Works for the after party!

 

The room looked amazing with the ambient lighting and the old tube train bar.

 

 

I got chatting to the ladies from the Pin Up Academy, who were still doing hair styling! After an hour or so October downed her brush and slipped into the most incredible sparkly dress. I got chatting to Sam, who took me under her wing for the night.

 

With the gorgeous Kita!

Image credit: LondonEdge
We headed over to watch the entertainment; an awesome swing band Dick Dynamite and Doppelgangers followed by some incredible dancing from a swing troupe who’s name escapes me and I can’t find anything so if you know please let me know and I can credit them here!
Then you had the opportunity to do some swing dancing yourself! I didn’t brave it myself. I think I would have melted into a puddle in the London heat but kudos to those of you who did, you did amazing!

We were then treated to an incredible strip tease from Banbury Cross. Partway into her routine she slunk over to the crowd to tease us and of course came over to me causing me to blush very hard! Quite impossible to take pictures when there’s steam rising from your face. Utterly gorgeous and dangerously seductive. Amazing!

Photo credit: NeverNotOut
Soon it was time to crawl into my bed ready for another day at ‘Edge. This one would be shorter but I really wanted to catch the seminar from the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. For those of you not familiar it was a charity set up in the name of a young girl who, alongside her boyfriend, were brutally assaulted simply for dressing alternatively. Sadly Sophie died from her injuries. Sylivia Lancaster, Sophie’s mother, has worked tirelessly to end this kind of discrimination, earning herself an OBE, and garnering support from celebrities and people all over the world.
The seminar was, at times, haunting. Recounting the event, describing in detail the injuries sustained, and the the painful journey to justice for the family. But hearing how the charity began, and the incredible support it received was uplifting. They now work in schools, prisons, youth centres, and anywhere that education is needed with their resource packs and training. They have also worked to have Sophie’s murder treated as a hate crime, and through this 11 police authorities now recognise subculture attacks as a hate crime.
Follow the link for more information on this amazing charity and ways you can support them.
As my time in London was drawing to an end I stopped by the Pin Up Academy stall one last time and treated myself to a photo session with the lovely Simon, being coached by the gorgeous Sam, who makes it all look so dang easy!
Thank you London Edge for another amazing season!

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