Is fashion art?

Fashion, musings

Is fashion art?

This question, undoubtedly asked by many a fashion designer clamouring for a sense of legitimacy to their craft, has probably existed for as long as the two disciplines have.

Of the creative arts, fashion is perhaps seen as the most frivolous. Fine art has a centuries-long legacy of appreciation and academia, as do music, creative writing, and theatre. Even film and television enjoy a populist endorsement that leaves their existence immune to interrogation.

But despite its ubiquity – most human beings wear clothes, most of the time – fashion can  often be seen as a superficial younger sibling.

But this all rides on the titular question: Is fashion art?

The creation of fashion definitely mirrors the process of making art; from conceptualisation, to sourcing of materials, to the production of the piece. Other than salary, what is the difference between the person who produced these paint-splattered Levi jeans and artist Jackson Pollock creating his iconic “drip-style” artworks?

That said, as Alice Rawsthorn notes for the Guardian, it could be said that fashion and art serve different purposes. Fashion is for expressing beauty – a duty that art, especially contemporary art, is often unconcerned with. Art’s function is to explore the complexities of life and to (at least attempt to) make meaning of the world around us; any beauty that comes from that is merely a by-product, Rawsthorn argues.

I, however, would suggest that perhaps our question is too simplistic. There is still much debate in creative communities over what does or does not constitute art, as well as many line-blurring and line-transgressing works, from performance art to street art to art installations. If we can’t even say for sure that art is art, surely we will struggle to agree on whether or not fashion is.

Regardless, over the years, fashion and art have in fact walked hand in hand. In the 1930s, Lola Prussac’s Hermes handbags wore Mondrian’s cubic aesthetic – as did Yves Saint Laurent’s dresses in the 1960s. Fast forward top the 21st century and Alexander McQueen has collaborated with Damien Hirst, Marc Jacobs with Daniel Buren (displayed, of course, at The Louvre), and even self-proclaimed genius Kanye West accepted help from performance artist Vanessa Beecroft’s when launching his Yeezy collections.

Art and fashion’s give and take is well documented, but the growing popularity of fashion sketches from the likes of Hayden Williams or Richard Haines is a perfect example. Are these drawings fashion or are they art? Or both? Or neither?

It’s difficult to say. But this lack of definition doesn’t make them any less beautiful.

Photo by Rob McConkey.

Things I’ve Learnt Over the Last Month Volume VII


I can tell that you’re all itching for one of my classic brain-dumps where I throw a pile of subjective opinions at you and pretend it’s fact. You know, like a newspaper.

Well here’s the latest edition.

  • Human beings are capable of unthinkable evil.
  • Human beings are also capable of great resilience.
  • If we’re honest with ourselves, the English, as a people group, are not built for warm weather.
  • A Magnum ice-cream is an incomparable experience.
  • I’m also going through twin obsessions with raspberry sorbet and clotted cream ice cream. Summer is not good for me.
  • The wide-leg trend is great for warmer weather as it gives your legs room to breathe. Skinny jeans on a hot day is a form of modern torture.
  • Being a tourist is all well and good, but there’s nothing like seeing a place from a local’s perspective.
  • Nothing revives you quite like spending quality time with good friends.
  • Befriending people who are in positions to give you free coffee is essential.
  • The whole ‘summer body’ thing isn’t exactly going to plan, and summer is just going to have to take what it gets at this point, to be honest.

Things I’ve Learnt Over the Last Month Volume VI


Like the citizens of Narnia, I never quite thought we’d make it through winter and am continuously shocked at how the spring sun continues to shine. I’m half expecting it to snow tomorrow.

Regardless, this year is chugging along rather determinedly and we’re already halfway through April. That’s almost a third of 2017 all used up.

As a rule, I try as much as possible to avoid learning things. I’m no longer in education, so surely that means I already know all there is to know. Occasionally however, some new nugget of knowledge will slip through the blockades and plant itself firmly into the recesses of my mind.

Here are some from the last month.

  • Spring is my absolute favourite.
  • I’m really into politics. Sorry, I mean political drama TV shows. Same thing, right?
  • Beetroot isn’t completely unassailably, irredeemably disgusting. Just quite disgusting.
  • Time just gets faster and faster. Unless you’re at work. Then it gets slower and slower, until you leave work, at which point it immediately speeds up again.
  • TV show Scandal is woefully underrated in this country.
  • Sunshine always puts me in a good moods.
  • God is greater than I ever could have imagined.
  • There is such a thing as too much McDonald’s.
  • York’s coffee shop scene is unparalleled.
  • If I keep consuming coffee at my current rate I’ll be bankrupt before the year is out.
  • Americans think that “burgularize” is a word. Bless them.



Things I’ve Learnt Over The Last Year


Longtime followers of this blog, all three of you, will remember that I used to do a regular feature called Things I’ve Learnt Over the Last Month. Clearly I haven’t learnt much recently as it’s been over a year since I last blessed you with my pearls of fatuous wisdom.

We’re well into 2017 now but I think we can all agree that 2016 was a… let’s say special year. So here is a list of non-related conclusions that I have drawn from my last 12 months on planet Earth.


  • It will never not surprise me just how early it starts getting dark in the winter.
  • You should take every chance to travel that comes your way. Not just abroad, but new cities, towns and even places in your own location you don’t know well. There’s so much world out there.
  • Beauty is very often in the details.
  • Having incorrectly predicted the results of two of the West’s biggest elections, it is clear that I know very little about politics. And neither do pollsters, it would seem.
  • The Belgian people are a lot prouder of Stella Artois than they should be.
  • If 2016 has taught us one thing, it’s that death is no respecter of fame, money, talent or power.
  • I’ll never not love my friends.
  • I’ll also never not love Friends.
  • I’m now officially a (reluctant) fan of Little Mix. What can I say? Those girls make some catchy songs. This is exactly what happened with Taylor swift in 2014 when I started liking her deviously addictive music against my will and now I’d happily follow that woman into war. I’m a little worried about where this Little Mix thing is going, to be honest… I mean, there’s four of them. Imagine how much more power they can wield over me.
  • I’m not that great at making decisions.
  • God loves me more than I can possibly wrap my head around.
  • Having not been a student for over a year now, I’m now fully able to go to nice bars for drinks without wanting to go to a club. It’s a thing now.
  • Apparently I’ve been kicking footballs wrong my whole life. Oh well.


Hope you enjoyed this compilation of my inane musings about life. This year I’ll try and keep them a little more regular.

Have a great 2017.

I need to get this off my chest…

film, magnate, miscellaneous, musings

Ok, so there’s something I need to confess.

I’m seeing someone else.

There, I said it.

I wrote a short piece for another site about the latest Spectre trailer. I’m sorry, it was stupid, it meant nothing. But now I’m involved with them and I can’t get out of it.

Now listen very carefully. I want you to know that my heart will always belong here. Always and forever. To put it in a way I’ve often seen on Twitter, you guys are my main chick and they’re the side chick. Ok? You know that, right? You’re the main chick. And no one can ever take that away from you.

You will always be my one and only bae. I mean that.

If you can see past the soul-crushing betrayal, feel free to check out my post for Magnate here. They do some really cool stuff.

Lots of love,


“Sprechen Sie Englisch?”

musings, places

Remember that time you went to Hamburg with two hours notice, no accommodation, no plans, no contacts and next to no money?

I feel like I’ll be asking myself that one for a while.

Just over a week ago I took part in Escape and Pray, a faith adventure organised by Fusion, a charity that is passionate about seeing students come to know Jesus. I see silent alarm bells going off in your mind. “Escape and Pray”, ” faith adventure”, “Jesus”. It’s going to be one of those posts, isn’t it? Yes. Yes it is. Sorry, not sorry.

Escape and Pray aimed to give students the opportunity to live out Luke 10. Though obviously not quite to the letter, seeing that we’re not the group of middle Eastern agitators to whom the words were originally uttered. Basically, it was a chance to have an adventure and to trust in God to provide and to connect with students and with churches and just to generally meet new people and to go to Europe and to have a lot of fun. So here’s the premise: organise a group of mates, turn up at the airport and open an envelope containing your European city destination, your tickets and €20 per person. Then go to said destination with only the time before your flight to frantically try and find accommodation and contacts. Standard.

media-20150624 Arriving at Manchester airport with my amazing team – Rob, Emily and Rosie –  I was a little nervous but heavily excited. A couple of minutes before finding out our destination, for reasons unknown to myself, I unwittingly set my heart on Valencia as a possible destination. Who knows why, but I was crossed-fingered for Valencia. Then we opened the fateful orange envelope. “You’re going to Hamburg!”, said the orange piece of paper. I stared at the words. Jet black on orange. They stared back, the paper mocking me with its hue, the precise shade of the Valencia orange. I fell to my knees in anguish.

No I’m just kidding. My disappointment lasted about as long as it it took me to realise that Hamburg was in Germany, the land of beer and sausages. (See previous posts to understand why beer is now significant to me.) My excitement soon became sprinkled with worry. I don’t know anyone in Germany, talk less of Hamburg. And the Hamburgular’s really busy at the moment with his makeover so he wouldn’t be able to help us out either. Just like any other millenials, we turned to social media in our time of need. And I called my mum too.

With the ensuing social media blitz of excitement and pleas for help over (though yet to yield any significant progress), we stepped aboard the bright orange hull of one of Easyjet’s finest vessels. I’m 90% sure Fusion only picked Easyjet because they have a weird thing for orange branding. An hour and a half later, there we were in Hamburg, taking selfies on the runway like a Kardashian. Having landed, we opportunistically leapt upon the free airport WiFi and checked our messages, trying to confirm some form of accommodation. Amazingly we’d had four offers of places to stay by the time we got to the city! After leaving the airport, we tried to hitchhike to the city centre. We wrote ‘bahnhof’ on a piece of paper and stood at a junction smiling sweetly with our thumbs extended. Later it was pointed out to us that bahnhof, meaning train station, was not a useful sign, as there are 68 stations in Hamburg, none of which were particularly obvious that we meant. Maybe that’s why every car sped past us. Or maybe they just didn’t like our faces. Or maybe both.

After paying for a bus with our tails between our legs, we wandered around town for a while, starving, trying to find the cheapest traditional food, one of our challenges being trying a local delicacy. We went for Currywurst and never have I enjoyed curried sausage so much. OK that was the first time I’ve ever had curried sausage, but it was good. No, it was great. After dinner, we met the girl who’d kindly organised accommodation for us, having been messaged by a friend about our predicament. She was a lovely student and she let the girls stay with her and found some mates to house Rob and myself.

The next morning, I felt great. We’d spent ages chatting with our hosts and joined them in their morning prayer sesh so I started the day on a real high. Wandering around the University of Hamburg was fun. We were able to tick a few more challenges off our list including crashing a lecture. We sat at the back for a while looking conspicuous and English, often one and the same, but hightailed it out of there when the lecturer put some incomprehensible symbols on the overhead projector (I know, right?) and it became clear that we’d have to spend an hour listening to a lecture in German that I’d have struggled to understand in English.

University of Hamburg! #hamburg #teamhamburgers #🍔 #escapeandpray

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Next we made our way into town to try and find a church for some good old-fashioned Christian sanctuary. Most of them were closed – unsurprising seeing as it was a Monday afternoon. The evening before, we had found a fast food joint that had free WiFi at Hauptbahnhof, Hamburg’s main train station, and this became something of a headquarters for us. Or rather, the spot on the floor just outside it, where the WiFi still worked but there was no pressure to buy anything, became something of a headquarters for us. We soon came up with a hilarious team name – #TeamHamburgers – a name that became much less funny when we realised that people from Hamburg genuinely call themselves Hamburgers as the meat-related Americanism clearly isn’t as much of a thing for them. As expected, the trip was full of poor jokes about eating the locals and abuse of burger emojis on social media.

Afterwards, we wandered toward the harbour and took a picture with the Hamburg State Opera House – selfie with a monument, check! We were quite hungry but were reluctant to buy anything to eat because we’d already spent a fair bit on food and transport the previous day. One thing we’d agreed on was that we wanted to give away as much of the money as possible. (That was also one of the challenges by the way, so not just us being selfless saints!) Having spent the day wandering around with our stomachs rumbling, we saw a homeless man outside of a church and one of the team suggested we buy lunch for him. This didn’t sit quite right with my self-preservation instincts, but I wasn’t about to refuse a man on the street lunch so I went along with it. It was oddly humbling buying food for him and none for ourselves. It was also quite humbling realising that the empty stomach feeling that we had was probably how he felt most of the time. I’m not going to pretend it was easy giving out money that we felt we needed, or that the clouds parted and a heavenly beam of approving light shone down, but I think it did me good to think about someone else at that time and to put things into perspective.

Later #TeamHamburgers returned to the university to make use of its WiFi. Eduroam is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Counting our money in the university dining hall, it turned out we had a little more than we’d thought – enough to buy some food and still be able to afford the next day’s train fair to the airport. With that night’s accommodation confirmed, we splashed out on the cheapest dish served by the canteen. Let me tell you, you’ve never had better pasta and tomato sauce. We shared two meals between the four of us, like two pairs of besotted dogs from different social classes enjoying Italian food on a particularly bella notte. The person who served us didn’t ask for any student ID, our dishevelled appearance no doubt telling her all she needed to know, so we were charged the cheaper student price that obviously wouldn’t have been available to us if she’d known we didn’t actually attend that university. Talk about stealing benefits. This extra windfall of $2 allowed us to treat ourselves to some waffles too and I gleefully smothered them in a blizzard of powdered sugar. Bearing in mind that I’d been up for 11ish hours and had eaten nothing more than a slice of malt bread, a Toffee Crisp and a morsel of cheese, this made me feel amazing. The hungry, grumpy afternoon was long forgotten and I felt ready, once again, to take on the world.

Earlier we’d responded to an ad we’d seen on a noticeboard asking for foreign students to discuss real estate in their home countries. The ad promised free coffee or beer for the participants. Naturally, we jumped at the chance. We met the three girls whose project it was for in a coffee shop and talked for a while about house prices, living conditions etc. for students in England. After we’d finished discussing their topics we just chatted for ages. One thing that transpired was that Germans pay something like €300 per semester for university. €300. This was such a slap in the face to the £27,000+ bill that I’ve racked up over the last three years. I struggled not to spit out my coffee in shock. To be fair though, maybe if they sprung a little more than €300, they’d be able to afford more than an overhead projector in lectures… Yeah I went there. Afterwards the girls insisted on buying us a delicious pastry that was native to Hamburg. It was a sort of cinnamon roll/croissant hybrid and had a name that we all struggled with. It was something along the lines of “fransbrochoweivenoborgeniebrushettastiplwievelsknitcheluchen”. Something like that. When I say the girls insisted on buying us this treat, I mean it. These generous students walked us to three different bakeries before they found some fransbrochoweivenoborgeniebrushettastiplwievelsknitcheluchen to buy for us . Once again we were bowled over by the unwarranted kindness of strangers. Earlier, we’d prayed for food and drink and we’d had a great meal and dessert, followed by coffee and more dessert. Suffice to say we felt very grateful.

As evening came in, #TeamHamburgers (I’m not even sure that the hashtag is ironic anymore) made our way to our second host’s house. This woman had got in contact, having heard about us from a friend on social media. From the moment we stepped foot in the house, we were welcomed like guests of honour. All four women who lived there were so lovely and generous to us. They made a curry for dinner and I ate so much. Like a rude amount. It was delicious. We stayed up and chatted for a while, but they had work in the morning and we wanted an early night too so we soon went to (1) The next morning, they provided a lovely continental breakfast of various meats and cheeses. We laughed about the differences between German and English food. It would appear that Germans find the concept of the full English breakfast ridiculous as they prefer a lighter start to the day. Apparently they can’t be dealing with sandwiches for lunch either – they like a hearty hot lunch. And quite frankly, that’s something I can get behind. Two slices of bread and a smear of filling can only take you so far at lunchtime. And why are sandwiches so expensive? I need answers. But this can be discussed later. Anyway, after praying with our hosts, we left for the city centre, laden with a packed lunch that had been lovingly prepared for us. Honestly, the kindness of strangers. Overwhelming.

After a ferry ride to a ‘beach’ that mostly consisted of stones and disappointment, we prayed for different areas of the city. On a whim, we also walked along the Old Elbe Tunnel that was 426m long and 24m below sea level. Coming up on the other side, we found little more than severely underwhelming industrial estates. Ah well, it can’t always be Narnia.

Tunnel vision. #escapeandpray #hamburg #teamhamburgers #tunnel #photography

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We were all exhausted as we headed back to the airport. Exhausted but grateful. Exhausted but content. Exhausted but elated. Looking at the #escapeandpray hashtag in the airport (thank you, Turkish Airlines for the free WiFi), it was exciting to see all that God had been doing with the other groups dotted all over Europe.

So what did I enjoy? The many opportunities Hamburg offered me to take pseudo arty Instagram pictures. What did I struggle with? Living, quite literally, on a prayer. The trip helped me realise that I don’t really trust God in my day to day life as I rarely ever lack anything I need, or even want. What won’t I forget? German efficiency. Honestly, the public transport system in Hamburg is ridiculously good. €6 for a day ticket in all zones and all forms of prompt and timely transport, including ferries. And don’t even get me started on their university fees. What will I take from this? Generosity. The kindness of strangers. It, quite frankly, amazed me that people would allow foreign strangers to sleep in their house with merely hours of notice. Actual strangers. We weren’t even friends of friends. Not really. I quite like what this group who went to Oslo calls it: unnecessary generosity.

Getting home felt great. As did our celebratory McDonalds. After ordering my main meal (BBQ Chicken Legend Deluxe with bacon), I showed my student card to get a free burger. Student life has many perks. Free burgers and crushing debt. Anyway, surely proving that God has a sense of humour, the McDonalds lady asked me: “Will that be a cheeseburger or a Hamburger?” I’ll let you guess which one I chose.

Weltenbummler means globetrotter. we had no idea till someone who saw the photograph pointed that out.

Weltenbummler means globetrotter. we had no idea till someone who saw the photograph pointed that out.

Things I’ve Learnt Over the Last Month Volume V

Ah the 70s. When trousers weren't trousers unless the hems were wider than your hips.

Ah the 70s. When trousers weren’t trousers unless the hems were wider than your hips.

A lot has changed since I wrote my last one of these posts. I’ve completed a degree course…… ok that’s it. But that’s a big one, right? Anyway, here’s a list of subjective opinions that I will force upon you as fact. Like a lecturer.

  • They need to stop rebooting Spiderman. Poor Toby McGuire must feel awful.
  • In a shocking plot twist worthy of Shonda Rhimes, I’ve recently started to enjoy playing football and other sporting endeavours – something that has never really happened before. Coupled with my recent discovery that I no longer find beer retch-inducing, I can only assume that I’m going through some form of late macho puberty, or someone’s been slipping testosterone into my food.
  • As you can imagine, I’m suitably horrified at what seems to be an unavoidable descent into traditional, idiotic masculinity, but I’ve decided to accept my fate. Consequently, I’ve begun dragging my knuckles on the ground while I walk and harassing women in the street. Oi oi, love!
  • Also, I now genuinely enjoy tonic water. What’s all that about?
  • The 70s are coming back into fashion. (See above picture.) The fashion-literate among us have known this for a while now, but this is a PSA for the layperson. You’re welcome.
  • In stark contrast to the wine I’ve become accustomed to, good wine doesn’t burn your throat when you swallow it. The rich really know how to live.
  • 3 years isn’t really a long time.
  • University has been a tremendous experience for me. I don’t have the verbal capacity to fully express what the last 3 years have meant to me, but it’s been great, York. It’s been great.
  • I love Instagram. It feeds my superficial personality.
  • Some things change all the time.
  • Some things never change.
  • It’s great to do things and go to places and meet people and just to be alive.
  • After working so hard for so long on my dissertation, it’s almost worrying how quickly I’ve receded into lazy nothingness. I can’t even remember what it felt like to work.
  • Being able to sing Taylor Swift’s song 22 is the only thing I’m looking forward to about my birthday in 2 months.

How to Patronise Friends and Irritate People


Do you ever feel looked down upon? Are you the butt of every joke in your friend circle? Do people think they’re better than you? I thought so. But don’t worry, help is at hand. You, my friend, need the patented Edi Adegbola Patronisation System™.

Here are some surefire tips to put people in their place. Or at least a place lower than yours. After all, “Sometimes the only way you can feel good about yourself is by making someone else look bad. And I’m tired of making other people feel good about themselves!” (Homer Simpson, 1990)

  • Call people honey.
  • Be taller than people; bend to their level.
  • Pat people on the head or ruffle their hair playfully.
  • Respond to anything people say with “that’s cute”
  • Tell people to “walk with me” when instigiating a conversation. Walk and talk to them until you reach your destination, then tell them you’ve “just got to duck out, but would love to continue this conversation later”.
  • When disagreeing with people, make thoughtful faces and pause frequently, as if you’re trying to carefully choose words that won’t offend them. Then use words that offend them.
    • e.g. “Well… how can I put this? It’s not that… it’s not that you don’t… understand the concept…. It’s more that you… have a rather… hmmm… juvenile understanding of it.”
  • When disagreeing with people tell them that you completely understand where they’re coming from.
  • Simplify already simple concepts for people or explain simple words to them. “So we’re off to matinee – that’s a play in the afternoon.”
  • Hold your index finger up when people are speaking to get them to stop.
  • Tell people you remember when you were their age. Even if you’re younger than them. Just say it with enough confidence and it’ll have the desired effect.
  • Smile knowingly every time you see them, as if you know exactly what they’re up to.
  • Say “excuse the pun” with a superior smirk every time you finish a sentence. It’ll drive people crazy trying to work what out manner of sophisticated pun you’re talking about.

And there you have it. A guide to making yourself seem more important than other people. That’ll be £1700 please. You can pay in 6 easy installments.

This was obviously a joke. There’s enough selfishness and ego in the world. Let’s do what we can to make people feel better, not worse. This website is full of great ideas, samll and big, to make positive changes in the world.

Things I’ve Learnt Over the Last Month Volume IV


It’s been a while. Here are some more musings from yours truly:

  • After 4 years, I finally like beer, and as such, have finally become a real man. And as such, have retrogressed several evolutionary stages.
  • Always be as nice as possible to everyone you meet. This great guy I know put it like this. Aside from moral reasons, you’ll honestly be surprised at when/how you get paid back.
  • It’s ok to fail. It’s ok. Honestly.
  • (But don’t take the piss.)
  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Friends and family are indispensable.
  • Netflix make some of the best TV. Good on them.
  • Netflix will ruin ambitions and your social life. Don’t do it, kids.
  • I was going to write something about procrastination, but I’ll do it later….
  • Three years can go by in what feels like weeks, but a three hour lecture can feel like several lifetimes.
  • Barbers don’t listen. But, to be fair, they know what they’re doing.
  • Having had my last ever lecture, I aim to never learn anything ever again. So I’m afraid this will be the last of these ‘Things I’ve Learnt’ posts.
  • Kidding. Obviously you never stop learning. And my lectures taught me very little anyway. If anything, I’ll probably learn more now.

Things I’ve learnt over the past month – Voume III


It’s been about 6 months since I last wrote one of these lists. Six long months. How have you managed? Enjoy:

  • You can write 8000 words of essay in 48 hours. It won’t be good and it won’t make sense, but they’ll definitely be words, and there’ll definitely be 8000 of them. And that’s all you were asked to do, right? Right??
  • You should NEVER write 8000 words of essay in 48 hours. Don’t do it, kids. Just don’t.
  • Primark is my spiritual home.
  • Earl Grey tea is bae.
  • The Earl Grey is/was probably bae too.
  • Snapchat can be a force for great good or great evil.
  • Re-watching yourself slowly lose grip on reality, due to sleep deprivation, on your Snapchat story is definitely in the latter category.
  • I’d be nothing without my God, my family, and my friends. Absolutely nothing.
  • I’m currently going through a likely fleeting affair with the music of Bowling for Soup.
  • “High school never ends.”
  • I quite like using Oxford commas nowadays.
  • You expect this sentence to prove my point by using an Oxford comma, don’t you? Well jokes on you, none to be found here. Try Cambridge.
  • The above was the worst joke I’ve told this year. But 2015 is still young….
  • Violin, piano, or acoustic guitar covers of popular songs are great study music. (There was your damn comma. Happy now?)
  • So is Ludovico Einaudi’s work, but we knew that already, didn’t we?
  • Futurama is hilarious.
  • Mulled wine tastes good cold. It’s like Sangria.
  • Emily Blunt is hilarious in Into the Woods, and probably in life tooAbsolute scene-stealer.
  • I want Emily Blunt and James Corden’s characters’ relationship. Minus all the curses and evil neighbours, obviously. Just the banter.
  • I miss my Android tablet.
  • Cocoa butter from Poundland doesn’t burn your skin. What a pleasant surprise.