100 Bloody Acres

This was originally supposed to be a post about how my brain is not quite right, but instead it’s sort of ended up as a movie recap. Ah well.

It’s a well known fact that I dislike movies with blood and gore. Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Nightmare on Elm St? The Saw movies? ANYTHING involving zombies? It literally turns my stomach. No thank you, very much.

It turns out that I ended up watching just such a movie; an Australian creation called “100 Bloody Acres”. The storyline itself is amusing and fairly obvious. Three young people travelling the backroads of Australia, heading towards a music festival are picked up by a well-intentioned yet dimwitted local – who has already picked up a dead body that he found by the side of the road.

Shenanigans ensue.

All three are held captive when dimwit takes them home to his oh so slightly murderous (read: fucking INSANE) brother.

There’s a large meat grinder involved.

Several people end up going through it, or losing body parts in particularly fun ways, or getting rather large holes shot through them.

You get the idea. Lots of blood (almost of epic Monty Python proportions) and lots of munched up bits.

I was reminded just why I make a point of not watching these sorts of movies when I realised I was starting to feel desperately anxious and panicky and not in the thrilling “this movie is great!” kind of way. The film itself wasn’t scary (and contrary to all of this, I kind of enjoy the odd ghosty scare or thrillers where things are implied but never seen), it really was just a matter of waiting for everything to happen because you really could see most of it coming. And I watched it as it came. And it was gross.

I guess I am a wimp but I will be sticking to my drama, romcoms and silly stuff in future.

I will say this about 100 Bloody Acres. It’s not the blood and guts that’s the real stomach turner.

There’s a scene… I won’t say what happens but… Well, when it happened, we all went:

Sunday Review – Rebecca Vaughan, Make-up Artist

Before I get started on the review, I just wanted to let my faithful readers (all four of you) that I will be updating this bloggery thing here and making it a more functional website.  Don’t worry, it’ll still be a blog but it’ll be prettier and hopefully more useful to the both of us.


A few weeks ago I was after a make-up artist to assist me on a shoot that I was doing with my lovely friend Elle.  This was to be a boudoir session and I really wanted to pull out all of the stops to make it good for Elle and also yield a good result for my own portfolio.

Because I am pretty much a penniless photographer, I put out put out a call on Facebook page for local models, stylists and photographers for a MUA/hair stylist to assist me on a “trade for time/file” collaboration basis.  I had a few takers but Rebecca’s images impressed me the most and I immediately got back to her to arrange her services.

Unfortunately I’ve been involved in a few shoots where the MUA has cancelled at the last minute or simply not even shown up at all. There have also been cases where if they did decide to grace us with their presence, they were late or ran overtime or just had shockingly bad attitudes and delusions of grandeur – and even worse, their work wasn’t as good as the photos in their portfolio had promised.  It all equals up to a pretty sour experience. So I will admit to bringing my own makeup kit with me, JUST IN CASE.

I need not have worried at all.

Rebecca is a relative newcomer to the make-up industry and is also building her portfolio but if her current level of service and professionalism continues apace, she will be one of the best in the business and I am sure will be called on for loads of jobs.  She turned up on time, listened to what I was after and delivered in spades.  Elle really enjoyed having her make-up and hair done and appreciated Rebecca’s chatty but professional personality.  With Rebecca doing her thing, I was able to do some planning in the room and gather my ideas for the shoot ahead.

Now, Elle is gorgeous already without makeup but Rebecca’s styling brought out her best and was complimented the style of the shoot perfectly.  I couldn’t have been happier and neither could Elle.

Shades of Douglas Kirkland's wonderful Marilyn Monroe photographs.

Shades of Douglas Kirkland’s wonderful Marilyn Monroe photographs.

Elle looked fantastic and knew it.

Elle looked fantastic and knew it.

You can find Rebecca on her Facebook page – Rebecca Vaughan Make-up Artist and on her own blog, Just Wing It. I’m recommending her to all an sundry now. She’s even doing the bridal makeup for another friend of mine.

Oh, and by the way. Elle is in her late forties.

Yes, you can curl up and die of jealousy now. I have a thousand times already.

Sunday Review – Blushie Bath and Body

And welcome to a new Sunday Review.

Those who know me also know that since I started losing weight I have taken a keen interest in not only making myself healthy on the inside but pretty on the outside as well. Which of course means MAKEUP!

And smelling nice, but mostly makeup.

So when I discovered long time friend and US correspondent, Megan, was not only selling her beautiful hand-crafted soaps but also tinted mineral lip glosses, I was ALL OVER THAT SHIT.

While not vegan, the lip balms are made with natural ingredients and smell lovely. The mica shimmers add a wonderful depth to the gloss and stand out on the lips.

I bought a handful of the sample size glosses because I had no idea which colour would suit me best. I need not have worried, they all look awesome. The glosses are very, very sheer with the first swipe leaving just a hint of colour and shimmer. They are build-able to a small extent but I found that more than about three swipes and the gloss tended to look streaky and uneven on my lips. I would suggest layering these over a matte lipstick or lip pencil that matches the the colour of the gloss if you want properly coloured lips.

The thing I really love about the lip glosses are that they really feel just like a lip balm. I’ve come to really dislike the “sticky” feeling of lip gloss and avoid it in preference of tinted lip balms or my trusty Lucas Paw-Paw ointment instead.

You can buy Megan’s Blushie products – including hand-made soaps, soy candles, lip glosses and balms and perfume oils – from her online shop, Blushie or Etsy. She’s also got a Facebook page.

The glosses currently run for about $8.50 each after the current exchange rates to AUD from USD. They’re still a bargain so go buy!

Anyway, here are some pictures of the colours that I bought from Megan:

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Blushie

Size comparison, left to right: Sample, Lip Balm and Mineral Lip Gloss

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Blushie

The lip gloss in Berry Wine is my favourite. It’s cool red-purple berry colour suits my skin perfectly. I wear this one when I go out a lot. This one is probably the one that gives the most coverage on it’s own. So pretty!

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Blushie

Golden Harvest is a beautiful orangey-coral, very warm-toned gloss. The colour payoff is great and the gold mica shimmers. This is probably just a little too warm for me but I love it anyway!

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Blushie

First Blush is a neutral shade for me. It actually matches the natural colour of my lips. It’s got a cool, white shimmer that is NOT frosty but adds a sparkle to the lips. Instalove.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Blushie

Winter Rose is a slightly deeper than First Blush, but still very neutral on me. It’s a cool mauve colour with pinky-tan highlights and blue shimmer, which means it suits my colouring perfectly again. It’s another that I wear a lot and will be buying in full size!

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Blushie

Just as an aside, I also bought the French Vanilla lip balm. Yeah – as a vanilla freak, I will happily admit that this stuff makes me want to eat my own face. I’m too scared to buy the balm in Gingerbread because I may actually do myself some damage if it smells as good as the vanilla.

All images property of Megan O’Keefe, Blushie Bath and Body.

Sunday Review – Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Welcome to another Sunday Review – the blog posts where I spruik my mates’ businesses!

Last week we had gears and cogs, this week we have refined elegance.

Annette Piper has long been an acquaintance and inspiration of mine. Having met her through the Aussie Beading Forum, I’d watched her show creation after beautiful creation using the most beautiful gemstones I’d ever seen. We’re both attracted to natural and colourful pretties. Annette’s style is simple, her work really lets the gems do all the talking. There’s no fluffy bits or anything that takes the focus away from the main attraction of her work.

Not only is she a brilliant jewellery designer, but, as the the name suggests, she’s a qualified aficionado of beautiful gems. The girl knows her stuff.

Annette teams her beads up with sterling silver or gold wire and findings, making gorgeous classic pieces that will stand the test of time, regardless of the current trends.

You can catch Annette at various markets in New South Wales (Australia) and she also sells online via her luscious website and on Facebook. For up-to-date details on her market endeavours, make sure you like her page! She’ll actually be at the Willow Markets in the Hunter Valley region TODAY (if you happen to be reading this early enough).

Here’s a select few of my favourite pieces:
(Click on images to zoom in!)

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Nuggets of turquoise lusciousness.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Striking green – brilliant for Summer and Spring

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Crazy colour!

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Baroque pearls.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Oh the drippy, gemmie gorgeousness.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

This one is all class.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Lovely crystal quartz.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery

Seriously, this needs no fancy embellishment. LOOKITTHEGREEN!

All photographs property of Annette Piper, Annette Piper Dip. Gem. Handcrafted Jewellery.

Sunday Review – Germano Arts Handcrafted Jewellery

Welcome to the inaugural Sunday Review! I know a large handful of hugely talented and successful folks who all have their own boutique businesses and I figured this is the perfect platform to do it.

If you have a small home or boutique business, I would love to do a review for you. Feel free to contact me via my contact page.

Anyway, onto the review…

Teena is a relatively new friend of mine whom I met via other friends within the Australian Beading Forum. Teena has her own boutique business, Germano Arts and she creates some of the most stunning jewellery I have had the pleasure of viewing, fondling and eventually buying for myself!

Teena’s style is hard to describe. It’s undoubtedly Steampunk but with a pretty garden party twist. She has taken the current vintage palette trend of brass and copper and truly made it her own, adding cogs, toggles and screws and teaming it up with flowers and some of the most gorgeous sparkly beads you’ve ever seen. She sources her supplies from all over the world and even makes her own polymer clay and metal-work feature components and uses a combination of layering and cold connections as well as soldering to create her jewellery, all of which results in a unique and beautiful handcrafted piece which will last forever.

Did I say that Teena’s jewellery was hard to describe? Maybe it was just hard to describe in a few words.

You can find Teena regularly at the Kallista Market (Victoria, Australia) on the first Saturday of every month. She has also been featured in Australian Beading and has published designs and tutorials in Australia’s new Digital Beading magazine.

Online, you can find Germano Arts on MadeIt and Facebook!

Anyway, here’s a (albeit, large) taste of the kind of jewellery you were find at Germano Arts…

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Germano Arts Handcrafted Jewellery

Swallows and cogs go together like brass and copper.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Germano Arts Handcrafted Jewellery

This one is MINE! After lusting after this double-drop beauty for the better part of a month, I practically threw money at Teena the day I saw it in person. It’s now one of my favourite pieces of jewellery, ever.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Germano Arts Handcrafted Jewellery

A beautiful example of Teena’s polymer clay work teamed with her clever layering and enameling to create this awesome bib-style statement piece.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Germano Arts Handcrafted Jewellery

Even the reverse sides of her jewellery are pretty features all on their own.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Germano Arts Handcrafted Jewellery

Flora is a major feature of Teena’s work.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Germano Arts Handcrafted Jewellery

It wouldn’t be Steampunk without a key!

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Germano Arts Handcrafted Jewellery

Lovely lampwork and crystal teamed up with filigree is always a winner.

Renlish.com - Sunday Review - Germano Arts Handcrafted Jewellery

Teena sources beautiful, unique shapes and components to incorporate into her designs.

All pictures are property of Teena Germano, Germano Arts Handcrafted Jewellery.

Review: myprosperity – A new money-management website.

Well, I know it’s not a secret that I was what was considered one of the “long-term unemployed” until recently. From the first week of July last year to… well, pretty much the first week of July this year I was jobless. Fortunately I received a fairly significant redundancy payout but my one mistake was that I did not budget for anything…

Well, frankly, I thought I would be working much sooner than what was actually the sad reality.

I should have done a budget. I was spending money like I was still employed and that was probably the worst thing I could have ever done.

Anyway, long story short, I’ve got a new job now but where I used to have the sort of pay packet that pretty much meant I could spend what I liked almost mindlessly and still have all my bases covered, I’m dealing with a wage that is now a little over a third of what I was used to getting. Of course I’m not complaining – these days a job is a job and I adore this job that I’ve got but I’ve now got to budget much, much more carefully to be able to buy the occasional bottle of nail polish without feeling ultra guilty.

That’s where myprosperity comes in. I was offered the chance to review this new money management site and given that I am in dire need of a budget overhaul, I put my hand up, thanks very much!

myprosperity is being toted as a way to keep track of your funds and assets all in one convenient location and it’s all free – BONUS!

At a glance, it lets you see where your money is going as the site automatically categorising your spendings for you.

It also helps you set savings goals, plan your budget better and keep control of your finances all in one fell swoop.

Hey, anything that’s easy and helps you manage your money is a good thing, right?

So onto my personal feelings about the site…

The good stuff first!

Using the site is DEAD EASY. It’s quick and intuitive. Everything is a step-by-step process and chucking in your data is quick.

You can even get basic free evaluations on your property and car if you decide to put this information in. I did and I was tickled to see that my house is worth considerably more than we paid for it (yay!) and it also comes up with what it previously sold for (to us) and somehow managed to find all the pictures that must have been loaded up to some real estate site when the house was on the market.

The site picks up your information within minutes and everything is readily displayed in different tabs. Graphs fill out as you watch and you can easily navigate around the site to see how your funds are spread out with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Now… the bad stuff.

Privacy and security are an issue.

Ok, I’ll be honest, I really don’t like giving usernames and passwords to anyone for anything and that’s what you have to do with myprosperity to be able to use the site effectively. Bank accounts, superannuation accounts, savings, etc. To me that feels like a huge security risk and I think I would have preferred a more manual system where I could input those figures myself rather than giving a great unknown the password to my financial banking, but for the purpose of this review, I chucked in my details to see what would happen.

As much as I was uncomfortable with sharing those details, it was pretty cool to see where all my money was being filtered out to. Anything linked to the accounts that you put in the details for will show up automatically too in other parts of the site.

It’s categorising the information incorrectly.

It’s fairly obvious when using the site that anything that the myprosperity system does not recognise will not be linked to correctly. Case in point, all of my direct debits were being listed incorrectly. Due to the banking reference including the word “direct”, the mysprosperity system read this as debits from Budget Direct – a company I have absolutely NOTHING to do with. All these debits are therefore listed in the insurance tab. I am not sure what the go was there but there seemed to be no way to correct this and there’s no help button and apparently no way to re-categorise the payments. That is a major fault on myprosperity’s part as far as I am concerned.

Limited edibility.

I could not seem to update the system to show just my income – which makes this a little bit pointless. The system does a very good job of reading your accounts but it assumes too much. Not all the money flowing into my account is income.

And back to security…

Lastly, I could not see anywhere to remove any of the details I had put in – so I guess I’ll be updating my bank account passwords now.

In conclusion…

All in all, I think myprosperity is an ok service. It’s free, so you have to remember that free equals limitations and this should be in no way used as a replacement for proper financial planning if you’re someone like me who really needs to get into the nitty-gritty of managing money, but for an “at a glance” service – and if you are comfortable with providing passwords for your financials – it’s pretty good.

Nuffnang Product Talk

NB: I give honest reviews.

I survived Christmas 2012 and I got was this stupid Hobbit T-shirt.

Actually, what I got for Christmas was the following:

1. A speeding fine.
2. A weird cold/infection/plague thing that’s settled in my chest.
3. 5kg gained over three weeks.
4. No job prospects.
5. An abnormal pap smear result.
6. One of my aunts passed away from cancer. (For any of my friends reading this, no, I am not talking about my aunt Nessa who was diagnosed with melanoma in her eye. She’s still very much alive and kicking.)

Yeah… this Christmas has sort of sucked.

Ah well. Thanks to Peter Jackson, the Boxing Day Movie tradition has been reinstated with the manbeast with a viewing of the much-awaited release of The Hobbit. That was the one thing that I was actually looking forward to this Christmas.

What did I think of the movie?


I will say this… I am a fan of the Lord of the Rings series. The Hobbit was a great film and I enjoyed it a lot but I didn’t walk out of the theatre nearly crying because there was 12 months to wait for the next one. Unfortunately I feel that the Powers That Be are milking it for every penny that it’s worth (and it’s kind of worth a lot) and as a result, what is only one short book is going to be stretched out over three movies. Not terribly impressed with that. The pace of the film was extremely slow as a result.

Now, here’s what I did not like about the film…

It had a very Pixar-ish feel about it. I think it had a lot to do with the 48fps frame rate (which, granted, is sped up slightly for the 2D showings of the film) but it was just too crisp and clean and sharp. Yes, Middle Earth isn’t real, I get that, but the grittiness of the original films gave them realism and the audience the impression that it could very well have been a real environment.

The overuse CGI in the new film was also a huge problem. In the LotR series, the antagonists were guys in prosthetics. The awesome Lawrence Makoare played three of the main ones; Lurtz the big Uruk’hai, Gothmog the big boss of the super orcs, and he donned the Witch King’s robes for the final film) and it gave the characters that same sense of realism which I found the most appealing. Sure, the big critters like the massive elephants and the cave trolls were CGI but that was kind of necessary – it’s kinda hard to get a real elephant to play dress-ups and Andre the Giant died about 20 years ago.

The Hobbit’s main bad guy was 100% CGI. And I was bummed because he looked CGI. I don’t know what the difference is this time between the graphics from the LotR films to The Hobbit but it was too crisp and clean – too much colour and to be honest, he did not look nearly evil enough. Ugly, yes, but ugly in the sense that he had a few artistically placed body/battle scars and a missing limb. Gothmog’s abhorrent facial growths and the fact that he was played by a real person made him infinitely scarier.

Even Gollum looked like a cheesy cartoon caricature of himself and even though he was voiced by the marvelous Barry Humphries, the Goblin King was probably the worst bit of CGI in the entire film. I did not like him at all. He looked too comically gross to be taken at all seriously.

Though I will admit, I did rather enjoy the superfluous stone giants scene. It was pretty awesome. And at least it was actually in the book.

The First Confessor (The Legend of Magda Searus), Terry Goodkind

The First Confessor (The Legend of Magda Searus, #1)The First Confessor by Terry Goodkind

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Let’s get one thing straight… I am a hardcore fan of Terry Goodkind. I was in high school when Wizard’s First Rule came out and it was a real eye-opener for me. The years following were plagued with fights over who would read the next book first when it came out and my mother bought it (for the record, they’re all now living on my shelf).

I have loved the Sword of Truth series forever but with each book, I have also felt the characters get weaker and the story get slower than the previous one. There is no describing the torment and disappointment I felt at how Goodkind wrote Jagang’s demise… which was all in the space of a paragraph. We’d just got through about eight books that detailed the horribleness of the world of the Emperor and the dream walkers and then…. well, that’s for a completely different review.

So, The First Confessor WANTS to be a great book but I found it to be very obvious. It was like reading a bunch of dot points…

*First Wizard dies, leaving widow (our heroine) to fend for herself
*Bad guy makes himself apparent
*Gruesome and bad stuff happens
*Heroine (stubborn, troublesome wench-type) gets help
*Heroine becomes a Confessor
*The good guys win – for now.

I’m not really giving any spoilers away, here. It’s pretty obvious that Magda Searus becomes the first Confessor from the title alone. But that’s the problem with the whole book. I knew what was going to happen the whole way through. There was no guessing, no surprises.

I had a real problem with someone who was fairly pivotal to the tale in the beginning of the novel simply vanishing for the rest of the story. Literally.

And… this is probably the only real spoiler in my review – I really wanted more detail as to how Magda was changed into a confessor. I was BITTERLY disappointed.

On the whole, if you’ve read the rest of the Sword of Truth series, I would probably give this one a miss. If you haven’t then my advice would be:

1. Wizards First Rule (Book 1)
1a. Debt of Bones (Novella/short story)
1b. The First Confessor (Prequel)

.. and then every other book in the series in the order to which they were written. It will make more sense to you and at the same time you will be pleased that you’ll be riding the crest of the wave for the rest of the way through the story.

Sorry Terry, you missed the mark with this one. Might be time to start on some new material.

View all my reviews

Using Wacoms… or any graphics tablet for that matter.


As a photographer and digital creative, I’ve grown to love using a tablet and stylus to help with my workflow. Everything from drawing and inking in Illustrator to shading and retouching in Photoshop is made easier with the use of a system that mimics pen and paper. As much as we’ve become used to using ye olde mouse and clickity-click actions, going “old school” method is often better and easier, particularly with the wide range of options for drawing tablets we have now.

There are a few varieties of drawing tablets. The most common and probably least expensive are the sorts that plug into your computer and come with a separate pen stylus (well, they pretty much all come with a stylus). But then you also have ones which are similar to that of an iPad and can display images on the actual tablet themselves so that you can draw directly on the image, thus making the experience of drawing far more akin to drawing as you would on real paper. Then you have the big gun, where the tablet is the computer and you are drawing straight into it. These mofos are huge and hugely expensive and usually only the best in the graphics biz can afford them.

Project 365 - 6


I personally have owned a few tablet/stylus set-ups. Currently I have an Intuos4 that I won courtesy of my old favourite photography podcast of the time, Shutters Inc, in a retouching competition. You can see my winning entry and my method here on the Shutters Inc blog. The podcast isn’t posted as frequently as it used to be but it’s still very cool to listen to when you need some inspiration… but I digress.

When speaking to people who are not used to using graphics tablets, I always hear the same thing “I couldn’t get used to it” or “I couldn’t make it work for me”. I sort of understand that it’s a huge learning curve, but after a few scribbles it just came naturally to me. So here’s my tips on using a graphics tablet.

1 – Make sure that your drivers are all up to date. Ensuring you have the right and most up to date drivers means that your tablet will continue to run smoothly though things like upgrades and software changes. Do this right away so you don’t have to worry about it again for a while.

2 – Customise your settings. If you’ve just plugged in your tablet, you may find it jerky or ultra sensitive. This happened to me once and a simple adjustment fixed it in no time. Usually the average factory settings are an ok starting point but you will find that as you grow more accustomed to using the tablet, you’ll figure out individual ways of doing things. The way you draw, the amount of pressure you use on the pen, the active space in which you draw – all of these can be customised which makes the whole “second nature” thing happen much more quickly.

3 – Position your tablet correctly. This actually causes the most amount of stress for most tablet newbies. Like customising your settings, there is no one right way of positioning your tablet. Do what works best for you and if that means leaning back in your chair, with your feet up on your desk, your keyboard perched on one thigh and your tablet on the other then more power to ya!

For the rest of us mere mortals, usually a tablet on the desk works the best.

My biggest tip in this area is do not put the tablet right in front of you to begin with. Position the tablet where you are used to setting your hand for the mouse and then try drawing a little bit. Because of good old muscle memory and brain trickery, you will be able to master manipulating the stylus quicker. I know it seems counter intuitive to how you think you would use a graphics tablet, but trust me, it works. You can trick yourself into thinking it’s just a differently shaped mouse. Once you are used to the different ways of moving the stylus, pressure sensitivity, etc, you can slowly start to move the tablet over towards a more natural drawing position if you like.

Or you could do what I do and just keep the tablet off to the side and use it that way too.

4 – Make sure you’ve got a tablet that suits your purposes! Nothing causes more frustration than having to find work-arounds for everything, that includes graphics. If you’re an artist and bought a small tablet, you may find that you cannot draw properly in the active space that a small tablet allows for. Similarly, if you bought a tablet to just create digital signatures, then you don’t need a huge artist tablet.

Generally for things like retouching photographs, unless you’re way up the food chain in the industry, a basic 6×4″ or 10×8″ tablet will do nicely.

5 – PRACTICE! Don’t give up. It’s different and feels freaky but it makes workflow so much better, particularly when you start getting used to hotkeys and function keys. Learn a few of your most commonly used tools in your graphics program and add those into the function keys on your tablet. Make it as easy for yourself as possible and you’ll find it becomes a fast and effective way of working and you’ll wonder why in hell you didn’t buy one years ago.

Boots that fit?! True!

When I was much bigger, I despaired at ever being able to find a pair of boots that fit my tree-stump legs.

My legs, particularly my calves, are larger than that of most average people. Even before I got really big, my legs were always chunky.

I’d first heard about Bennetts Boots when a colleague at work pranced into the office wearing a stunning pair of boots.

“Go!” She cried. “They come in wide fittings for bigger feet and calves!”

While she wasn’t as big as me, she too had a larger footprint so she totally understood what a fucking joy it is to find something that fits and fits well.

I wasn’t entirely convinced, though. My size 10-11 clodhoppers and 60cm circumference calves would never fit in any of the boots there. I’d been on this wild goose chase before. I’d found “wide calf” boots online and was bitterly disappointed when I had the product in hand.

But I went to see what the fuss was about. At this point I’d lost about 15kg and thought I’d done pretty well. I’d managed to knock a few centimeters off my legs and thought I might get lucky.

Well, I was – and I wasn’t.

Unfortunately my legs were STILL just too big to fit the WWW – yes, that’s TRIPLE WIDE at 54cm around the calf.

In an effort to get me into something that fit, the lovely lady in the shop suggested a bigger foot size as that also meant an increase in the calf circumference.

It worked! I got the boots done up! Sadly the shoe part was just too big so I couldn’t really take that route, but I vowed to return when I’d lost more weight. I was going to own a pair of boots if it killed me.

Well, obviously I’ve lost more weight but even better, I am now the proud owner of two pairs of boots from Bennetts. The glorious cherry-red Chains and more recently the very sexy Raphael.

I’ve never known a more comfortable pair of shoes – ever. They are exquisitely made, fully lined and extremely comfortable to wear.

Now, they’re not cheap – nothing in this silly country of ours ever is – and I do think that they are slightly overpriced but they are great quality and Bennetts have a great range of boots in various styles that makes it worth squeezing a little extra out of the bank account. And if you sign up with their newsletter, you are privy to some really awesome monthly deals as well. I got my Raphaels at half price. Not bad for a boot that’s normally just shy of $400 off the shelf, eh?

Bennetts Boots come in three different calf widths and many, many sizes. All the shoes are C-fitting which means that they will comfortably fit a wider foot and they can even fit orthotics in there if you need them.

For the record, Bennetts aren’t paying me for this review. I am a genuine customer and bought these boots with my own cash. I am just that happy with them that I signed up as an affiliate. So if you want a pair of boots, click on the link in my sidebar and go shopping!

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