Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Lbeej becomes a bit more grown (but not in the height department!)

Laurie Beth Jones is somewhat of a contradiction. She is small, sure. But she has the largest breasts of any individual I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Despite possessing these fabulous assets and it seeming like they're the biggest thing about her, she also has a rather sizeable brain and a whole lotta heart, which gives those bazoomas a good run for their money in size.

LBJ. With wine. Standard.

Here's some more information about her: 

I know a lovely lady, Miss L B Jones,
Who very rarely gripes and very seldom moans,
She has many interesting stories and fascinating tales,
Mainly about celebrities from her home land of Wales.

She has lots of pretty dresses and always looks neat,
Is feisty and fiery, but somewhat petite,
Her size is very similar to the people what borrow,
Yet oddly she’s a dead ringer for Benicio del Toro!

She’s often found in the pub and is always first at the bar,
Is a ‘strident feminist’ but has never burned a bra,
Which really is (for all concerned) probably for the best,
Cus she needs all the help she can get to support her humongous breasts!

Today it is her birthday so we’ll celebrate with flair,
And hope it doesn’t turn out to be a ‘Laurie’s chocolate nightmare’,
So happy birthday little’un, I hope your day’s the shizz,
Let’s crack out the cake and candles and raise a glass of fizz!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Ryder's 'Welcome to Earth' party

To welcome Lisa's little bundle of joy into the world officially, a naming ceremony was held in the garden of the Hassell residence with bunting, baking, booze, babies, birthday books and a bit of brooding from some of the Bristol bunch.

Man I luuuuurve the cake!

As one of Ryder's 'mentors', my duties included writing and reciting a verse (or seven) for the little man's special day, and here is how it went:

They say that having a baby is the greatest thing you’ll do, 
And nothing could be more important than recreating a part of you, 
A child is the greatest of all the gifts that life could ever bestow, 
And there is no greater pleasure than watching that new life grow.

But with the joy and happiness there comes a couple of snags, 
Not just the sick, the sleepless nights and endless nappy bags, 
But there’s a scary fact that to this day has been announced… well never, 
And it pains me to have to tell you my friends, that a baby is yours forever!  

Mentors, munchkin and mum

Now this might come as quite a shock and cause a bit of stress, 
But no baby that’s ever been brought by the stork came with a ‘return to’ address, 
So when your little bundle arrives, you’d better hope that it has some appeal, 
‘Cause once it arrives at your front door, it’s pretty much a done deal.

As daunting a fact as this may be, there is a saving grace,
The love that swells inside your heart when you look at your baby’s face,
Their beautiful eyes, their soft lipped smile and baby button nose,
Make all the hard work seem teenier than tiny baby toes.

When Lisa announced that her lady oven was busy baking a bun,
Excitement spread amongst all she knew about her forthcoming son,
The best thing Lisa would ever create was growing deep inside her,
The gorgeous baby we all adore, our precious little Ryder.

May you grow up to be a wonderful person with a beautiful heart and mind,
A courageous soul who’s not only strong, but sensitive, warm and kind,
The type of fella who everyone loves and wants to be their best chum,
And may you have just an ounce of the kindness from within your beautiful mum.

Let’s raise a glass to Ryder, the coolest kid on the block,
‘Cause I have the strangest feeling that this little boy will rock!
May the lights that guide you on your path be bright as a summer’s day,
But should you encounter any moments of dark, we’ll be here to guide the way.

Amazing Inky Goodness birthday book

© Holly Purcell 2012

Monday, 9 July 2012

Happy Birthday Helen Hockenhull

My Auntie Helen is one awesome lady, but her life has its challenges.

When she became an English teacher at my secondary school, a group of kids found her surname so unfathomable that they decided to call her 'Mrs Helicopter'. It's not as if you can blame them, I bet even the infamous 'Midland's Today' reporter Bob Hockenhull has had his fair share of problems booking restaurant tables!

Bob - a legend in the Midlands

Then there was her run of bad luck with John Lewis, who seemed unable to accept her existence and wouldn't deliver her new kitchen goods.

But luckily she always has me to give her a helping hand when it comes to clothes shopping...

There was a lovely lady, Mrs 'Helicopter' Hock,
Who of all the nifty Nanas, knew the greatest ways to rock!
The original 60's diva, a real hippy queen,
Who was partial to a Pinot and the 'my arse' star Sean Bean.

She had all the latest music and the best of all the books,
And as our lady got older, even better were her looks!
Her heart was big and open and her smile was always sunny,
But John Lewis could never deliver her goods, 'not even for ready money'!*

Her wardrobe grew as years went by along with her lust for life,
And when she went shopping with her lovely niece, she looked like a 'vicar's wife',

Retro photo

So Happy Birthday Auntie Helen from the one with hair of ginge,
May all your birthday wishes come true, and enjoy the Edinburgh Fringe!

*From The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

© Holly Purcell 2012

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Happy Birthday Nicol McClellend (The girl who has no nose)

Nicol is an interesting character.

Although she is a rather swell individual, Nicol has had to work pretty hard to overcome some serious challenges in her life.

Birthday bestie

Not only does her nose resemble a bit of morph’s foot stuck on as an afterthought, but she also thought the world was black and white before colour television. Then there was the concern that feeding a tuna sandwich to a seagull was forced cannibalism. She also didn’t know how to pronounce her own name until I pointed out the lack of an ‘e’ meant she shouldn’t be calling herself ‘Nicole’.

All this aside, she’s actually one of the smartest people I know, and today is her birthday. WOO!

Here’s a birthday poem for Nic (I’ve actually cheated a bit here as this is last year’s ditty, but I have changed my name to ‘Ginger Purcell’ on Facebook as part of her present today so she can’t complain):

There was once a young lady called Nic,
Whose face everyone wanted to lick,
Her eyes were bigger than the sun, she had a nice shapely bum,
But her nose was just merely a trick.

She loved lounging and ‘being all cute’,
Everyone thought she was ‘a hoot’,
But when you’d like to watch telly, she’d get right on your nelly,
And put the bloody thing onto mute.

Falafel was her most favourite snack,
Her best friend in the world was called Zack,


She was an advocate of karma, read works of the Dali Lama,
And an ambulance story she’d never lack!

She was patriotic like the St George’s flag,
Always sported a designer handbag,
In her clothes she looked yummy, stolen off a Gap dummy,
Or with ‘American Apparel’ on the tag.

Today marks the birth of this lass,
And the well wishes are coming en masse,
So have a smashing day, and I’d just like to say,
You might be older but you’re still a piece of ass!

© Holly Purcell 2012

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The arrival of Lilly Grace Garratt

Following their glorious wedding the year before, we were all very pleased to hear that Anna and Steve didn't hang about when it came to creating a new addition to their little family.

Lilly joined us in March last year, and her arrival was officially announced to the world whilst her Mum was still off her face on drugs (from the birth!) and couldn't spell her name properly on the mass text message. That aside, everything about her appearance on the planet was pretty darn perfect.

As the presents had already been dished out at the baby shower, I decided to take along the gift of a little poem when meeting Lilly for the first time, and here's how it went:

There was once a tiny lady, Miss Lilly Grace Garratt,
Who had a nose like a button and a squawk like a parrot,
She had little blue eyes and a wide mouthed yawn,
And made everyone happy the day she was born.

Lilly, photographed by Anna Stretton

Her mummy and her daddy really loved her very much,
So did her fake aunties, like ‘The Chief’ and ‘L Hutch’,
Her darling little happy face held the attention of all in the room,
And she made her auntie Nikki cry before she even left the womb!

She got presents by the bucket load (including offensive bibs!)

Don't know who this gift was aimed at

Her room and wardrobe were so pimped out she could have appeared on Cribs!
She had piles of toys coming out of her ears and many a pretty dress,
But luckily nobody had gone out and bought the latest album from JLS!

Most people guessed that she’d be huge in the ‘string and mummy’s bump’ game,

This wasn't meant to be insulting

And just as her Auntie Holly had hoped her hair was red as a flame,
She received lots of pretty pink baby gifts, which for a girl is just the ticket!
Unless her daddy gets his hands on her first and makes her a fan of the cricket.

May angels guard you on your path, and cherubs protect you from harm,
And may you take after your beautiful Mum with her super warmth and charm,
Let’s hope your days are full of fun, happiness and just being silly,
‘Cus nothing in the world could be too good for our gorgeous little Lilly.

Lilly, Lillykins, Fredlet

© Holly Purcell 2012

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The story of Lisa Hassell, the most amazing person on earth

For those of you who don't know her, you need to know the following... Lisa Hassell is iron woman!

She's not only the strongest person I know, but she is loyal, driven, focused, generous, beautiful, creative and fun! She's an incredibly talented artist, a very independent young lady, and she's also at the top of the list for the dude who hands out karma.

The details of why are not really relevant here, but about a year ago, Lisa found herself in a less than desirable situation which meant that she had to leave the city she had come to love, and also leave all her Bristol buddies who had come to love her just as much.

Despite the life-changing events that resulted in her departure, Lisa's resilience and optimism prevented her from crumbling, and she is now not only all of the wonderful things I described her as previously, but also an incredible mum to a gorgeous baby boy.

Before Lisa left us to move back to the Midlands, I made her a leaving book to document some of her amazing memories of Bristol. Alongside the obligatory photographs of all the Brizzle fun times, I wrote her a fairytale built around some of the people she had met whilst living in the city, and featured the work of some of her favourite artists as well as her own creations.

Here's the fairy story that was featured, and some of the pics to go with the tale (keep your eyes peeled for the future edition 'When Lisa and Ryder moved back to Bristol and made our dreams come true!'):

There was once a young lady, Miss L B Hassell,
Who lived on a mountain in a beautiful castle,
But not out of choice, I must hasten to add,
As something had happened that was awfully bad.

Lovely Lisa

This is the tale of how our girl Lis,
Was snatched from her world of joy and peace,
And was trapped by a monster who caused her much pain,
Who ensured that her world was never the same.

I’ll start at the beginning, a very good place to start,
When Lisa was a child, a girl with a big heart,
Who lived in a land far away with her mum,
A funny little place all the locals called ‘Brum’.

She had a head of blonde hair (sometimes dipped in pink)
Was happy go lucky and never kicked up a stink,
A girl who would scribble wherever she went,
(It was only when drawing that she was truly content.)

Copyright freeboprich photography 2010

She was always so smiley and made many a great friend,
Like Finders and Petey, the Ginge and McBellend,
There was Grimbo and Larry and the rugby head case,
All who adored Lisa’s shiny, happy face.

But then one day, whilst chomping a bacon baguette,
Lisa created a character that she would live to regret,
A creature that would go on to cause a right kerfuffle,
The (now notoriously evil) creation… Mr Shuffle!

Mr Shuffle from the L Hassell collection

“But how can a drawing be evil?” I hear you say,
Because this one had an agenda, and wanted Lisa to pay!
He was feeling hard done by as Lisa’s career was soaring,
And Mr Shuffle didn’t get a look in when Lisa went off touring.

From Belgium to Berlin, Lisa took her latest work,
But where was Mr Shuffle? At home like a berk!
So feeling cast aside like a manky old shoe,
Mr Shuffle started sulking, and feeling really blue.

Coraçãozinho de Merda | Little Shitty Heart by Maria Imaginário

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Avril Wilson leaves IOP (and a hole in our hearts)

When I'm not writing, eating, watching British comedy or running riot around Bristol with my South West homies, I can be found in the Marketing Department at my lovely work place, IOP Publishing.

I'm very lucky to have some super awesome colleagues, and one of the most super I've ever had is Avril Wilson (soon to be Wilson George!) Being a clever cookie, Av was a great asset to our team but was also destined to move on and up pretty quickly, so it was with mixed emotions that we waved her off to an exciting new job last year.

A baguette, a beret and a blimin' big bit of bling!

As well as being a bright young thing, Avril has a tendency to be rather active during the night (by this I mean walk, talk and sit in baths of cold water in her sleep!) If she's not wandering around the house or trying to convince her fiancé that there's a strange girl in the corner of their bedroom, she's recalling tales of when Dracula 'sucked her to death'. She also says some pretty nonsensical randomness that always has me in stitches when she plays back the recordings (see sentence marked by * for details).

Here's Avril's leaving poem:

There was once a young lady called Av,
Who was the best that we’ll ever have,
She was bright, she was witty, intelligent and pretty,
To find better takes more than Sat Nav!

She liked history and read lots of books,
Loved Brian Cox (but for more than his looks),
She was lovely, she was kind, *had my menu on her mind*,
And to lose her just utterly sucks.

But the opportunity fairy came a-knocking,
Which with Av’s talent was hardly that shocking,
But it’s caused a slight hitch, cus I need a sales pitch,
So that fairy deserves a good socking!

Best of luck in your new working place,
Let’s hope they deserve having your face,
You’re bound for success, like the trial process,
Cus you’re brighter than the stars up in space!

© Holly Purcell 2012