I’m just getting started, but if you’d like to subscribe to The Lockwood Echo, I’m sure I’ll have more to shout and get angry about real soon…….

creativity-2735435_1920Ladies, and some of you gents, I’d like to talk to you about the makeup phenomenon known as ‘contouring’. As you may know, it’s the skilled art of using various shades of powder to create a beautiful sculpted face. Cheekbones are defined, imperfections disguised, jawlines accentuated.

Let’s just stop right there. Now, I may not be best placed to advise on makeup. Anything more than a flick of mascara and a dab of lippy and I risk looking like a bloke in drag. (Statement necklaces – same effect). So although I’m not au fait with all the tricks of the trade and the finer art of makeup application, I do know the difference between ‘attractive’ and ‘dog’s dinner’.

For the benefit of anyone like me, whose makeup bag consists of 4 items, all from the 1980s, contouring goes something like this; You put highlighter on the bits you want to stick out and shade on the bits you want to …. well …. be in the shade.

Some joker decided the highlighter should be silver. Don’t use silver. You’ll look like the man from the moon. Only to be used if you know all the words to ‘I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper’. The darker shades are mostly the same colour as shit, so be very careful how and where you use these. Once you’ve applied your highlights and shading, all the tutorials stress that the key to getting this look right is to ‘blend blend blend’. The best way to achieve this is with good quality brushes. I believe B&Q’s are very reasonably priced and they do a set that ranges from a 2½ inch down to a ½ inch (for those hard to reach places. Nostrils I guess). Then you apparently repeat the whole process for a further 17 layers.

My advice would be to try and smile a little as you apply your layers, as you risk concreting yourself into Resting Bitch Face, even less attractive than the pantomime you’ve just painted on.

A crucial point to remember with makeup contouring is that it’s an optical illusion. A trompe l’oeil of the face. And as such, like any optical illusion, it only works when viewed from a specific direction. Front on, you’re sculpted and chiseled, with all the lumps and bumps that Mother Nature gave you smoothed into a vision of Vogue-ready glossiness. From the side however, it’s just stripes of shit and silver. You can of course complete the look with classic (no, not class-y) Crayola Crayon Eyebrows. One (one) that the Neanderthals would be proud of.

In summary, contouring is not for the faint-hearted. Or the inexperienced. Or anyone with only a 40 watt light bulb.

My fear is the ‘contourers’ are not looking how they think they look. Daylight is your friend. Full face mirrors are your friend. Your friend is your friend. It’s not right that an aim to be beautiful is scaring small children.


Clingfilm. Proof that there is a God. And he hates us.


Printers. Further proof that there is a God. And he hates us.


toilet-1033443_1280If you hear me crying through the closed door of a public toilet cubicle, don’t be alarmed. I’ve not discovered anything ‘untoward’ whilst in this very personal of situations. It’s unlikely I’ve just received bad news, as I make it a rule not to look at or answer my phone whilst sat on the loo. It won’t be because there’s no hook to hang my bag on as I’m all psyched up for that one before I even enter the cubicle and depending on type and size of bag/bags, options will have already been pre-determined. It will be because I can’t work out WHERE I’M SUPPOSED TO STAND WHILST I OPEN THE DOOR?

Who designs these things? I appreciate the need for an inward opening door, no-one wants to be flinging MDF out at people, cross-legged in their moment of need. But in the world of toilet cubicle design, no-one seems to take into account that not only does there need to be somewhere for the door to go, what little space is left has to accommodate you, your bags, coat, scarf, optional small child and that perfume sample stick that you’re desperately trying to keep hold of and not put in your pocket or purse in case you really don’t like it and the smell lingers forever so you really would appreciate that hook on the door so that you can at least hang some of this stuff up (maybe not the child) to leave at least one hand free to pull up your knickers.

What is more puzzling is the amount of room usually found in the ‘communal’ area of public toilets. You could roller-skate around the place (a less boring way of drying your hands). If you’ve ever been stood in a queue for a public toilet, how many times have you seen every sink being used whilst every toilet is occupied? Doesn’t happen. No need for all those sinks and the space they take up. I think the ‘internal toilet cubicle area/number of sinks’ ratio has been miscalculated. I’m no mathematician or architect, but I can’t help wondering if whoever drew up the plans on which All Public Toilet designs are based, maybe got confused with their volumetric conversions.

When the opening of the door fills the space all the way back to the toilet itself, it doesn’t take a degree in geometry to realise the occupant’s only option is to hop up on to the sanitary bin or trap themselves behind the now open door necessitating a jump over the toilet to escape. And that’s when the crying starts.



Do you sit in your car with the engine running? Not because you’re travelling, but because you’re waiting for someone. Picking the kids up from school? Hubby just nipped into the shop to grab some milk? Just replying to a text before you head off to work? Sat there doing NO miles to the gallon and grumblng at the price of petrol? Does that sound like you? Well then, TURN YOUR CHUFFING ENGINE OFF!