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Issue 4 Autumn 2011


Crack Cooking

With International Cooking Exchange

Beauty Queen Josephine Marume Mushambwe


Sing For Water Campaign









Winters Bone The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo TIVATION




OMEN diy girl magazine 1.





4. Beauty Queen, Josephine Marume Mushambwe 6. Chocol-Ads business with Veronica Koppelman 8 Crack-cooking with International Cookery Exchange 10. Sing4Water campaign

14. High Street Fashion 18. African Spirit Beauty Pageant 2011 Results

20. Amey Upfold’s experience in China 30. Men supporting Do It Yourself Girl magazine

32. Winter’s Bone 33. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

“I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S ALREADY TIME TO DIVORCE ALL OUR SUN BATHING SWIMWEAR” our belly-revealing tops, and our sandals, for our cosy cardigans and socks for autumn. Time is flowing and so is our autumn issue packed with different activities that have been taking place or is still to come. We can’t hide the excitement of meeting our Beauty Queens on pages 4 and page 16. Veronica Koppelman, was able to share with us how she turned her suffering to success on page six, when she started her ChocolAdd business. And if you love exploring with your food, why not get to know what our lovely ladies from International Cookery Exchange (ICE), are doing in the community on page 8. We also decided to take you to the streets and share with you our random fashion trends from the high street on pages 14. Amey Upfold, is also here to share with us her

inspiring trip to China on page 19. Last but not least, many thanks to John Moore, for the Film Review contributions on pages 24 and 25. And to those who have any questions, constructive comments, contributions or to those who simply feel they can be associated as part of Do It Yourself Girl magazine (one way or the other), do feel free to call 077 6106 3214 or email I do hope you will enjoy our complexly packed magazine. That’s it from me and the rest of the Do It Yourself Girl magazine Team. Tendai Sibongile Estar Musiyazviriyo (Chief Editor & Publisher)

AUTUMN CONTRIBUTERS Co-Editors: Hayley Blowers, Amey Upfold, Simona Boeva and Nicollette Dimova Contributing Writers: Amey Upfold, Simona Boeva, Nicollete, Dimova, John Moore and Stella Thompson Photographers: Pal Hamre, Ronnie Tembo, Olga Lidia Saavedra Montes de Oca Graphic Designers: Paul Woodward, Dale Fletcher, Dan Jay 2. diy girl magazine


e are proud to learn that our readers are still curious about knowing what Do It Yourself Girl magazine is all about. We are also honoured on the other hand, to share with you what Do It Yourself Girl is all about and what we are up to. To spice it up, we decided this time, to explain it in a different way.

achievements. People also tend to feel better if they also get to come across or read about how other people suffered before getting to their success. This will act as pillar of some sort and remind people that our life journeys will always have ups and downs but nonetheless, there will always be a way out from our difficulties. Do It Yourself Girl, will aim to feature stories that will assure readers of success while at the same time revealing to readers, local services they could use if complications arise. For example, in this Autumn publication, we have featured Catch 22-3D and Catch 22-Baseline (page 18). These two invaluable projects offer very essential and free service that the community can benefit from. Featuring such projects will assist Do It Yourself Girl’s targeted readers to have an idea of where to go when they need help or simply where to go for relaxation and at the same time socialising with others. By so doing, Do It Yourself Girl would not just

What Is Do It Yourself Girl Magazine?

Do It Yourself Girl magazine is a community-interest based magazine, registered as Do It Yourself Girl magazine (Community Interest Company – cic). Our uttermost goal is to feature real life stories/articles that will help inspire young women in our community. We aim to feature motivating stories both from young women to help encourage other young women to do the same and also feature stories from mature and successful women to act as role model to young women. People always feel more empowered and are positively driven, if they have someone they can look up to and mirror their outstanding highlight problems and solutions on paper but would actually propagate its aims by providing tangible services/organisations/projects that readers can easily access in the community. You can listen and take part on live shows on Tuesday the 22nd November and on Monday the 19th of December from 3-4pm (NB: our 2012 dates are yet to be confirmed so do keep an eye).

Since we are already growing, Do It Yourself Girl, also offers students a chance to associate with the magazine through voluntary work. Most of our volunteers are both university students and post graduates who are eager to build their portfolio through supporting the magazine. We see this as a very essential platform that opens up avenues not only for young women in our community but also a platform that can be used by men as well. For example, our photographer, our web designer, and our feature contributor (film reviews) are all male. This proves that what can be seen as a “Young Women’s Magazine”, can in actual fact benefit a wide range of people. Above all, we have also been privileged with the opportunity to promote the magazine live on air at Unity 101 community radio which can be accessed from 101.1 FM and on line at

Real Life Stories/ Articles That Will Help Inspire Young Women In Our Community

Do It Yourself Girl is a non-profit magazine that is always on the look-out for people in general to support the ongoing publication of the magazine. We are currently based on Room 27, Royal Mail House, Terminus Terrace, Southampton, Hampshire, SO14 3FD. We are looking for different types of help for example, more volunteers to help with the writing of featured articles, graphic designers, web designers, photographers, typographers, paying advertisers to assist with our printing costs and appealing to all people who can help us either or both in cash or kind. Any cheques made can be addressed to Do It Yourself Girl magazine and sent to the above address. In brief, this is what Do It Yourself Girl is all about and aims to achieve.

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e m u r a M e n i h p e s o J e w b m a h s u M

law wean is a ld Zimbab ut. o o rd a e fin -y 7 to 2 d as decide wife. This ary house IY GIRL! h D in ? rd p o u n it a m being le to keep e is far fro is it possib ars, but sh eauty queen. How ye lf a h d e an ning b d for thre and a reig een marrie University She has b uthampton Solent So student at MODELLING, HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO JUGGLE THE TWO TOGETHER? The reality is I’ve the drive. I’ve the passion. I’m very ambitious. I consider myself a hard

DO YOU LIVE WITH ANY FAMILY? I currently live with my husband, Walter Mushambwe, of three and half years. I also have my mother and the last born of the family, Joyce, who both lives in Milton Keynes. HOW COME YOU ENDED UP IN SOUTHAMPTON WHEN EVERYONE IS IN MILTON KEYNES? Well, I followed my husband. My husband is the reason why I’m here, but everyone is in Milton Keynes. WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY DOING? I’m a second year Law student at Southampton Solent University. I’m also a Beauty Queen. I’ve done beauty contests since I was 12 years old. Now I prefer doing international contests. I usually just apply as I am my own manager. I usually sponsor myself where there are fewer expenses for example, no entry fee,

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no purchase of tickets, or accommodation

working woman. It’s very possible to do a few

expenses and so forth.

things at the same time. It’s not just doing things


ordinarily but doing this to excellence. I always


try to allocate my time wisely because I’m a wife


as well. So I’m needed at home. I ‘m needed at


university. I go for beauty pageants around the

National contests are good. They promote the

country and around the world. I just try to do the

contestants as well. They are bigger and there’re

best that I can do to stay on top of things.

wider opportunities and that’s why I prefer doing


international contests.



I love sports. I would have joined netball if it


wasn’t for the weather, but I love watching a lot


of sports like rugby, football wrestling and the





You won’t believe it but it all started as a joke. At


my secondary school then, there were these two

I’m one woman who is a perfectionist to an

girls who were two year ahead of me. One day

extent. I love my house to be very tidy. It can

they came to me and asked if they could train

be hard when you are living with someone but I

me to be a model. That is how it all started.

always try to maintain it to a good standard



s Mab

2002 Mis


inner Zim elreign W

ner. ) UK Win e w b a b we im , Zimbab s Z.W. (Z a y n e K 2005 Mis nium in The Mille riendship title. f o m is Miss F s Tour 2007 Mis ve, 1st Runner Up tati am UK, Represen Birmingh inner. n a e ib r r -Ca Title W s African geniality n o C 2007 Mis s is er Up M 2nd Runn inner. Lilly UK W e m la F s riendship 2007 Mis tive, Mrs F ta n e s e r bwe Rep sors) se Zimba r e iv n ma (Spon U a s g r a M M 1 f 1 o 0 2 Face ner, Mrs . Title Win Mrs World r fo a id r ing to Flo mber, go e c e D 1 1 20


place of learning for beauty queens. THAT IS DIVERSE, SO WHERE WILL




I’ve always wanted education on the side. I


think I will even go all the way to Doctorate.


I might practice for a while but I want to


specialise in Commercial Law. An education

The main challenged that I have come across

has always been a master key to me. It

was trying to juggle marriage and university.

doesn’t matter what I do, Law will always

I had stayed out of education for about three

come in. I have always wanted to have an

or four years and I just went back to university

education on the side.

last year. Assignments came and sometimes when you have challenges at home, it affects


your school work. That has been the biggest


challenge but otherwise, I always try to work

I would like to say to all women out there,

around it.

have a goal in life. Have a desire to do


something with your life. I always tell myself,


I do what I do because I don’t want to die


second best. I don’t want to die having only

I have a lady who is more of my personal

celebrated other people. I want to celebrate

counsellor and I always confide in her. She is

my own life. I want to do those things that I

always there whenever I feel I need help or

love doing. I love to excel in the things that

someone to talk to. The other person has always

I do. So to all women out there, whatever

been my strong pillar is my mother. She’s the

dream you have, go for it. Don’t ever think it’s

only parent I have and she is my best friend as

too far away. Just believe you can do it. The

well. She always keeps me going.

best thing to do is to take a step. Once you

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE OR TEN YEARS TIME? I would love to be a successful property developer. By then, I hope to have established a business in property development. I’m also thinking of starting my own modelling school, a

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DO IT YOURSELF GIRL! MAGAZINE IS CONSTANTLY ON THE LOOKOUT FOR ROLE MODELS WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY WHO ARE INFLUENTIAL, BRAVE, PASSIONATE AND DEDICATED WITH THE WORK THEY DO. Here, we meet Veronica, a breast cancer survivor who expresses these traits as she didn’t allow her traumatic situation get the better of her. Instead she found a new lease of life and decided to begin her new unique business. Here is a story of someone who turned her suffering into success. WHAT IS YOUR FULL NAME? My full name is Veronica Koppelman WHERE DO YOU LIVE? I live in Kingston, Surrey. YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU WERE DUTCH, PLEASE DO EXPLAIN? My husband is Dutch, I am British and we met in Holland as I used to live and work there. WHAT TYPE OF BUSINESS DO YOU DO? My business is Advertising and Marketing using Chocolate. It’s a mini booklet with a piece of chocolate attached and inside the booklet is the advertisers marketing message. These are placed on saucers of cups of tea or coffee served in bars restaurants etc. WHEN WAS IT STARTED? Chocol-Ads Ltd began in April 2011 WHY WAS IT STARTED? Chocol-Ads started right after I finished my chemotherapy and radiotherapy. After my battle with breast cancer, I decided to make some changes to my life and starting my own business was one of them. HOW DID YOU GO ON TO ESTABLISH YOUR BUSINESS? It was through networking events. It has been a breath of fresh air getting out of the house and meeting new people. And talking about chocolates all day long is an easy sell. I have a sweet tooth and I love chocolate! DID YOU FACE ANY DIFFICULTIES ESTABLISHING

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YOUR BUSINESS? Not so far, it seems people I speak to are hungry for new ways of marketing their products or services, and the idea of giving their potential customers a piece of chocolate in this way is different. It’s new, quirky and is guaranteed to grab everyone’s attention. DID YOU GET ANY SUPPORT FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS? I am very lucky and blessed to have a very supportive husband, Hans, including my family and friends who are always positive and encouraging. I believe all their positivity has helped me to recover a lot quicker. DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER JOB BESIDES YOUR CHOCOL-ADS BUSINESS? Chocol-Ads is a full-time job which keeps me busy, I get inquiries from all over the country. We have now recruited a sales team locally and we are looking to expand our team nationwide. DO YOU HAVE ANY KIDS AND IF YES, HOW DO YOU BALANCE BUSINESS AND MOTHERHOOD? I have a grown up daughter Tia, so no little ones to worry about. HOW IS THE COMPETITION LIKE, ON THE MARKET? Thankfully - there is nothing like Chocol-Ads in the market or anything similar to compare it with at this moment in time. WOULD YOU GO BACK TO YOUR 9-5 JOB? IF “NO”, WHY NOT? I hope not. It’s great having full control of my life and I can decide what I want to do and when. Any spare time that I have is donated to working with charities one of them being, Look Good, Feel Better. HOW DO YOU COPE/MANAGE YOUR BUSINESS AFTER RECENTLY OVERCOMING TREATMENT FOR CANCER? Every day is a celebration and every day I meet wonderful people. Its confirmation for me that life is beautiful in so many ways. I am happy and very lucky that I was diagnosed early.

“Do something now and don’t leave it until it’s too late. Life is too short.”

YOUNG WOMEN ARE STRUGGLING IN OUR COMMUNITIES, WHAT SORT OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THEM? Do something now and don’t leave it until it’s too late. Life is too short. And last but not least, surround yourself with the right people who will inspire you to take the next step. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 OR 10 YEARS TIME? I hope that Chocol-Ads will be known all over the UK and that all the bars and restaurants nationwide will be using Chocol-Ads.

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e are impressed with the bravery of these women- Maria Teresa EwartBlake (The Treasurer) and Ann Haydock (The Chair). The actual idea of cooking dishes from different nationalities for free came from Lepsa Stojkovic, (a friend and sponsor) three years ago. It all started just by cooking and ideas came to get in touch with Swaythling Housing Association (SHA). Ideas like ‘Why not to get a few cookery sessions with different ladies and let’s find out about food in their own countries”. The group welcomes everyone, who is willing to share their experience in cooking or learn something new. “Everything we do is for free for everybody. So, there is no reason for people not to come. We do not want them to feel obligated but they have the opportunity to do so,” Maria explains. “When they cook, they have the power. They are in control. It builds up their confidence and self-esteem.” That is why Do It Yourself Girl, admires this group. It helps the all group members discover themselves. It teaches them something they are good or eager to learn, and hence creates their confidence. Southampton City Council helped them by paying for six cookery sessions and SHA supported them for another six sessions. They cook a great diversity of food. They rent a kitchen once a month at the Northam Community Centre. This makes people come, gather and cook together. That is the whole point of this group - being together and embracing new cultures. The more different they are, the funnier the atmosphere is. But the problems started after finishing the last session when the ladies ran out of funding. “We have to continue. But we had to start a proper group and start applying for funding ourselves,” Teresa said. “I thought why not to enroll these ladies in a course as well.” Finally, they were lucky to find funding. Thanks to Awards4All, the volunteers were helped for three different courses: Health& Safety; Food Hygiene and Nutrition up to NVQ Level 2. It is incredible how the group grows up and gets bigger. When they started they were only 10. Now, they are up to 50. It cost Teresa and Ann, and the rest of the group, lots of worries, meetings and of course, precious time to achieve this. But the biggest success came when the ladies were asked by the City Council to cook for elderly people in Sheltered Accommodation in the West End. “After this we started being invited to cook in different venues,” Teresa tells.

“It was such success. When we went to the West End, The Tenants Participation Unit paid for the food. They gave us the money, we bought all the ingredients.” Normally the group pays for the food, but that time it was different. Also last summer (2010) they cooked for 150 children, supported by Southampton Football Club. Asylum seekers and refugees are on the list for being helped as well. They were one of the first to be helped and sponsored by The Red Cross. So, the ladies had the funding. “We bought everything and cooked. It was a nightmare but the food was delicious. We cooked dishes from six different countries.” People there had the chance to try food they wouldn’t normally afford. The fact that there is not a Portuguese restaurant in Southampton makes the menu more interesting thanks to Teresa’s nationality. Normally the ladies serve dishes from 18 different nationalities. For example Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Dutch, Russia, Croatia, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, West Indies, Kenya, Somalia. So, if we join them from Do It Yourself Girl magazine, dishes from Zimbabwe, Bulgaria, Indonesia, England etc, will also be presented in the community. Talking about ladies, gives the impression that the society accepts only women. But it is not true and Ann gives us an explanation. “Our cookery sessions are only for ladies because some of them are Muslim. Their husbands will not allow them to be in the presence of any other men. But when we cook for groups and communities, everybody is allowed.” The community sometimes gets beyond cooking. “The group was made for women to allow women to come and talk about all sorts of problems that are affecting them,” Teresa adds, all of this has an impact on members, in a good way. It helps them resolve the problems they have. Another benefit is the Nutrition Course. “They learnt how to change or use their recipes to make them healthier. So, it’s benefiting their children’s health as well by doing things better.” Ann supports. Like everyone else, the group, take breaks too. Their last session was in June and they came back the last Friday of September, at Northam Community Centre, between 12 noon to 3pm. The summer has started successfully for them as being nominated by the Council for a Ten-

ants Cookery Session Award. They won the award and now were going to Birmingham for the finals. They never have sessions in August because the other women are busy with the school holidays as well. Others are Muslim and have Ramadan. It is not worth having sessions at that time of the year. “We wouldn’t pay for the kitchen, for the food and find out that no one turned up.” Teresa explains. One of the good things about this group is that it is getting bigger, turning into a network. “We also have a group of ladies from Tichfields. They have been attending sessions for two months and are going to start spreading the word. So this can bring some more members”, which is exactly what Teresa hopes to happen. The ladies definitely have things to be proud of and show off. To start with being invited to cook for the official opening of a playground, then to cook for Daily Echo and BBC is pretty amazing. And to finish with an invitation from the Queen is unbelievable. We never thought Lepsa would write a letter recommending us. Someone else wrote a letter to support that because they knew the work we have done and all that,” That is where the biggest success starts. “I received a phone call from Lady Allison Wycombe, the Deputy Lieutenant for Hampshire saying that she needed to come to visit us and see what we do so that she could recommend us to the Queen’s Award or not. I said why not. We have this big event coming, why not come and see the good work we do? When she came we were cooking for 40 elderly people and their carer,” Teresa continues. “She saw for herself the work we were all doing. How good we were working as a team and independently. I was doing Portuguese food. Mina, was doing Russian salad. Everybody was doing different things at the same time. The ladies and gentlemen were waiting anxiously as some have had some food from us before. Lady Allison saw the amazing food we were producing and she said this is fantastic. She said it’s such a simple idea but it’s absolutely fantastic. So she went and recommended us so high that we went to receive confirmation that we had won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services. We didn’t know about it until it was announced two weeks before the official announcement, which is normally on the 2nd of June- the Queen’s official Birthday.” They had to keep it in secret. When they finally could spread the news, Lepsa was shocked.



EXCHANGE Maria Teresa Ewart-Blake, the Tresurer, tells us about being a part of a new, modern and different community group called International Cooker Exchange. She explains the idea, the advantages, and the complications the group has been through, while Ann Haydock, the Chairperson, gave Do It Yourself Girl magazine readers precious advice about independence and how to embrace change.

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The advice Ann gives us is “open your mind to something different and new, to grab to opportunities in your life at any stage. It does not matter the age or race, what matters is what you enjoy doing,” she adds. “For example in our group, everyone has to eat. Instead of always having food prepared from the microwave, ladies from our group also get the opportunity to go home and prepare something fresher, cheaper and healthier and also not from the tin. So it is also environmentally friendlier too,” The course gives more than cookery sessions; it gives further education and new skills. “If you do it out of curiosity, you might learn and benefit from that trial.” Teresa concludes.

“It was a nightmare but the food was delicious”

These women are an example to follow, their stories are incredible and that’s why Do It Yourself Girl, admire people like them.

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PHOTO: Olga Lidia Saavedra Montes de Oca

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o It Yourself Girl, meet with Fiona Funnell and Sandra Thibault , at Unity 101 radio, to talk about these ladies’ singing, to help fundraise various projects. Fiona and Sandra are both prime examples of hard working; dedicated role models as separately, they run their own workshops and a variety of different classes for all people across the community. Here we find out more about what they do, what they have achieved and why they are so influential to many people. Interviewing Fiona first, we discovered the following:

& vocals duo and a capella quartet

Tell us Fiona, what exactly do you do? I am a freelance storyteller, singer, composer and workshop leader. I set up choirs from scratch, having a fixed number of rehearsals culminating in a fundraising concert to support a charity. People sign up to the choir for 8 or 9 rehearsals and pay a set amount. I use this to pay for the hall cover, my publicity costs and for the teaching time. All proceeds from the concert itself go to the charity. I also tell traditional stories to children in schools and at festivals and compose songs, some in 4 part harmony.

It’s often said “Charity begins at home”, have you ever done any work for local people before exploring to Africa? One year I put on a concert in support of Naomi House children’s hospice.

What project are you involved in? I am involved in a project called, Sing for Water which is part of the international charity, WaterAid. On Sunday 11th October, a concert was organised where 1,000 singers gathered on the banks of the River Thames to raise money for WaterAid. Groups of singers around the country have been learning the same 7 songs in order to form this massive choir.

Where do you see yourselves in the next five years in terms of expanding your charity work? I’d like to gather a choir of 1,000 singers here in Southampton to raise money for a local charity.

You recently held a concert on the 17th of September, what was it all about? I have organised a concert here in Southampton to give the choir the opportunity to perform in their own city, sing these gorgeous songs again, and raise more funds for WaterAid. Last June I formed a choir from scratch in Southampton called the, The Big Splash Choir where 50 people from all over Southampton came to help raise money for the charity. Anyone who loves singing can join. There are no auditions and you don’t have to be able to read music. I taught the choir songs from Nigeria, the Balkans, the USA, and the UK all in gorgeous a capella harmony. Other performers include, The Slow Arrangers, Ukelele Band, Greg Nunes and myself, Fiona Funnell Why do you host concerts, in particular? Have you hosted some concerts before and were they beneficial? I have taken part in Sing for Water for 7 years forming a choir from scratch each year and teaching the songs. The choir has ranged from 16 to 30 people and performed at the bandstand in Palmerston Park and in the Spiegeltent as part of the Mayflower Park Winter Festival. Last year for the first time I booked St Mary’s Church and raised £350 for WaterAid, as well as putting on a great evening. Usually, how much are the tickets? £10 in advance, £12 on the door Do you usually have any collaborating groups/choir? The Slow Arrangers, Ukelele Band, guitar

Which countries exactly are you involved with in West Africa? I’m not an expert on WaterAid, although I try and support the work they do by running these singing projects. WaterAid works in 26 different countries across Africa, Asia and the Pacific region. Why these countries in particular? WaterAid’s vision is a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation.

Besides cash, can people help in other ways and what sort of things would you expect to receive? Local businesses could give us prizes for our prize draw. Shops could give us food vouchers or donate wine so that any donations we get for these concerts go to WaterAid.

What word of advice can you give to all young women out there? Always follow your passions in life. To find out more about Fiona Funnel and the work she does, please visit www. or Contact her on: Tel 02380 220331. Email: Sandra is a freelance creative dance and choir leader and she runs a variety of different classes, including her own natural voice choir and various creative dance and singing classes for people with physical and learning disabilities across the Southampton area. These classes include: Sing@The Hilt, Natural Voice Choir Hiltingbury Community Centre Hiltingbury Road, Chandlers Ford SO53 5NP Thursdays from 1.303pm at £3.50 per session. There are weekly drop-in sessions for everyone. Creative dance classes for people with physical and learning disabilities The Point, Leigh Road, Eastleigh SO50 9DE Fridays at 11.00am and 1.30pm Contact The Point 023 8062 7804 Sandra also co-leads Singing for the Brain sessions, a service provided by the Alzheimer’s Society which uses singing to bring people together in a friendly and stimulating social environment. Every Tuesday (during term-time only) 10:30 to 12 noon at Eastleigh Scouts HQ, Centenary Hall Chamberlayne Road, Eastleigh SO50 5JH For more Information contact Alzheimer’s Society (Southampton & Eastleigh) 02380610159 To find out more about Sandra and the classes she runs please visit and www.harmonise. us or alternatively contact Sandra directly, on 023 8026 8617 or 077 5398 2045. diy girl magazine 11.


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ate’s Little House of Gifts, started in March 2011 after Katie gained experience working for VIE at home where, after assembling a box of sale items, called, ‘The £5 Box’, potential buyers would then come to her house to have a browse and to purchase. From this, Katie decided to put more variety to her own ‘£5 Box’ and added unique handbags, purses and compact mirrors from a wholesaler. This then inspired her to grow ‘the £5 Box’ of sale items into an actual shop which she now runs through an eCommerce site at home, where she tries to cater for everybody’s needs and requirements.

Now six months on Katie’s little shop has branched out and is now stocking more adventurous goods such as shoes and novelty gift items including, money boxes and gift mugs, perfect for filling those stockings this Christmas! Kate’s House of Gifts not only caters for women with its beautiful selection of shoes, jewellery and unique handbags but also stocks men shoes, children shoes and children accessories, all at unbelievable prices. Her business has even got its own ‘Back to School’ section where you will find the perfect pair of shoes for your child as well as the ‘Winter Warmers’ section where you will find the ideal Christmas presents. Do It Yourself Girl took the opportunity to ask Kate, what had been the highs and lows of managing her own business so far? The highs of running my own business from home are being able to be with my children throughout the day. As well as being my own boss, setting my own targets, and meeting new people. The lows of it all are most certainly the competition in the market for the types of items I sell. As a newly, established business, it’s difficult to run the website, and the in store traffic, the business needs to survive. Advertising can also be extreme costly and difficult, with a low budget.

When Kate’s ‘House of Gifts’ first got underway, Katie started off small, selling just a few handbags and purses and steadily increasing her stock with new items including different types of jewellery.

What would you say is the best item you sell? The bags I sell are unique to this country. They are beautifully detailed, and are undoubtedly the most popular items I have stocked so far. Finally, what advice would you give to the women out there who are thinking of starting their own business? For those women starting their own business, I would say, it’s very tough. You need creativity, inspiration, and an endless supply of persistence! Research the market you are targeting. Find out what your competitors are offering and aim to better it. Seek support from friends and family. Advertise when and wherever you can. Don’t give up!” To view the wide selection of beautiful gifts and items that Kate’s House of Gifts has to offer and for information on free delivery and contact details please visit;

What do you hope to achieve in the future? I hope to build up a good strong customer base. Through word of mouth, I also hope my shop will expand.

The bags I sell are unique to this country

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Isabelle Musiyazviriyo Age 2 Isabelle is wearing a playsuit, boots and a bag from Next, a cap from Debenhams, tights and a poloneck sweater from Gap.

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Abbigail O’neill Age 22 Abbigail is wearing a top and jeans from River Island and a coat from Topshop.

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Izabela Kubarska Age 26 Izabela is wear a top from Dorothy Perkins and coat from Peacocks.

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Kathy Nguyen Age 20 Kathy is wearing a dress from H&M Finland, shoes from the Marlands shopping centre, a bag from Seppala Finland and a necklace from an outdoor market.

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Despite the tight completion, the beautiful young ladies were brave enough to see it all through to the end, as one by one, they battled the stage for the most aimed for “2011 Beauty Queen” title. Do It Yourself Girl magazine is proud to finally announce the winners of the African Spirit Beauty Pageant 2011 winners.

Photo: Ronnie Tembo For a change, this was a beauty show that didn’t include any swimwear modelling but included any young women of any height and any dress size. It was amazing to see girls of dress sizes 10plus, confidently cat walking with pride and freedom. Beauty contestants originated from various countries of Africa and to cut the long story short, congratulations to the Zimbabwean born Gumisai Makombe, who was crowned Miss African Spirit 2011 accompanied by 1st Princess Evania Justino from Angola with 2nd Princess Tafadzwa Jambwa also from Zimbabwe. It was so amazing to witness a beauty pageant that instilled confidence and promoted beauty awareness that was not graced by size zeros. For more information, visit

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black history Although it originated from the United States and Canada around 1976, Black History Month is now also observed in United Kingdom since 1987. While the Americans and Canadians embraced it in February, in the United Kingdom, the whole of October is used to honour past and ongoing achievements contributed by both Black Africans and Black British. The aim is to promote awareness on African cultures focusing in various sectors of achievements for example in politics, Paul Boateng was appointed as a cabinet minister on 29 May 2002. He was the first Black Cabinet minister, 110 years after the first Black MP (Diane Abbott), was elected). In sports, Frank Bruno is one of the well known sports person. In films, Norman Beaton, once a teacher, was remembered for his great role in the television show called Desmonds. And a lot of people are remembered and honoured in different fields like fashion, media, education and entrepreneurship.

Do It Yourself Girl, was able to meet with local people who helped share how they celebrated the Black History Month. Southampton University English students, Jessica Killaspy and Rhiannon Frame, attended the Rewriting British Black Contemporary History event. This was about the Black Women in Literature and Broadcasting. It was a mini series of two talks and conversation hosted by the School of Humanities Southampton University and Diverse Arts and Artists Community Association. To cover the two different sessions were Adeola Solanke, Playwright, Screen writer and story analyst coupled with writer, Dee Jarrett-Macauley on the second session. Jessica stated that she felt motivated by Adeola’s determination and refusal to see and allow any barriers in her life journey. We were also able to meet up with Paula Windebank, a Community Development Officer for Radian Housing. To celebrate the Black History Month, they had recent held the Chapel event. With help from residents in Chapel, they held a Caribbean picnic with food cooked by residents, as well as African drumming and mask making. Norah and Jackie cooked delicious authentic Caribbean and African food while Kwame from Bakoji Paintyard led the drumming. Around 50 people came along the event on a beautiful sunny day. Paul Boateng Cabinet Minister

Paula personally thought it was an excellent opportunity to celebrate black culture and be aware of the contributions made to our society by people of African and Caribbean descent. Paula also stated that she had learnt a lot about the Black History and found it enjoyable to be a part of such a big campaign. She also went on to say that she would like to integrate these themes into Radian’s activities throughout the year rather than just in October for the Black History Month celebration. As word of advice, Paula encouraged all young women out there to get involved in their local community as there is a lot to gain in sharing knowledge and skills, and learn from others. And above all, to celebrate our culture and be proud of it. diy girl magazine 19.

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AS I CAME TO THE END OF MY THREE YEARS AT UNIVERSITY, I WAS FEELING MORE LOST THAN EVER. DESPITE GETTING A GOOD DEGREE RESULT MY DESIGN PORTFOLIO WAS AVERAGE, MY CONFIDENCE LACKING AT THE INCREASINGLY DEPRESSING JOB MARKET, AND I WAS DISTINCTLY AWARE THAT I WAS YET TO DO ANYTHING I WAS INCREDIBLY PROUD OF. BY AMEY UPFOLD. This is why I decided to spend a year in China, teaching at a Primary school. I was emailed by a company offering a year’s paid contract with free accommodation and refunded flights, with nothing required apart from a degree and the ability to speak English. Naturally I was sceptical, but my curiosity and longing for an adventure overcame me. Within a couple of months I found myself applying for a visa and booking my 14 hour flight. I would be moving to a city called Foshan in South China, a bus ride away from Guangzhou – the third biggest city in China. Being a country bumpkin at heart, I knew this would be a shock to the system but it was also a short journey to Hong Kong, somewhere I had longed to visit.

Words and Photography by AMEY UPFOLD

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his is why I decided to spend a year in China, teaching at a Primary school. I was emailed by a company offering a year’s paid contract with free accommodation and refunded flights, with nothing required apart from a degree and the ability to speak English. Naturally I was sceptical, but my curiosity and longing for an adventure overcame me. Within a couple of months I found myself applying for a visa and booking my 14 hour flight. I would be moving to a city called Foshan in South China, a bus ride away from Guangzhou – the third biggest city in China. Being a country bumpkin at heart, I knew this would be a shock to the system but it was also a short journey to Hong Kong, somewhere I had longed to visit. Everything was so rushed I could hardly take it in. One minute I was signed on and struggling to find work, the next I was trying to cram my worldly possessions into a suitcase and make it come to 30kg, throwing out clothes to make room for my trusty teddy bear. I will never forget the fear bubbling away in my stomach as I prepared myself to leave my family for 10 long months. Luckily for me, the other English teacher I was going to be working with was also booked onto my flight. I had only met her once before (where in typical graduate fashion we got overdosed with excitement, in the early afternoon and had taken the wrong train home). But I had little to worry about as my newly found mate talked for the entire journey, making the long waits fly by. We were to meet our new boss at the arrival gates. We pushed our trolleys through with fear, dreading her to be a towering monstrous woman or even worse. We couldn’t have hidden our surprise well at being greeted by a tiny catlike woman called Crystal and her excitable colleagues waving banners. This would be our first experience living like B-list celebrities. I can barely remember the journey to our new home as I was exhausted from the flights and anticipation, but can certainly remember the shock of walking into the apartment for the first time. “THIS is where we live?!” I exclaimed. To me it was beautiful, a large open plan lounge and dining area, huge bay windows, wooden walls and a massive double bed! Not all foreign teachers are this lucky, as most have small rooms at school with the other teachers. But throughout the year we had our fair share of shocks, including a burst pipe, blocked toilet (a western model, thankfully!) and... cockroaches! I could fill 20 magazines with all the new experiences, surprises and emotions I had whilst living and working in China. Everything was new and alien to me, and I embarrassed myself straight away by saying “This looks

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like the pet shop back home!” in the first restaurant we went to. Before I had left, I was teased constantly about having to eat dog and using squatting toilets. Even I would never have guessed I’d be trying everything offered to me and genuinely finding them delicious; huge prawns with the heads and tails still on, sweet fried dumplings, juicy watermelon like I’d never tasted before. And after awhile I actually started to prefer the Chinese toilets! Little were we prepared for how our presence in Foshan would delight people. Everywhere we went people would stare, call “Hello!” and sometimes slyly take pictures. There were very few foreign teachers in the area and when we all got together the passers- by went mad. Some had never seen a foreigner before. I took to the teaching almost instantly, having only a couple of days training and no previous interest in it as a career. The children were so eager and I had so much fun teaching them the words, playing games and doing role plays, feeling so proud when I saw progress in their English. I stayed at the school long past my allotted hours to talk to everyone in my office and even when we got home, the whole evenings would be spent on the balcony reliving our lessons. In China, you don’t get much school holidays, so when we did, we made the most of it, travelling first to Hong Kong and then up to Beijing for the Chinese New Year. We even managed to books cheap flights to Borneo during the Spring festival, visiting beautiful tropical islands and snorkelling with rainbow coloured fish. I honestly need to stop writing because my mind is bursting with memories and my hands can’t keep up. All I want to say is this, if you’re in the same position as I was, feeling a bit lost and unsure of your career still, you have the ability to do something special. Everyone’s always in a rush to find the perfect job. They don’t take the time to explore themselves. Despite my mix of employment, I always have something to talk about in interviews. The interviewers aren’t just thinking ‘Is this person right for the job’, they’re thinking ‘Do I want to work with this person for however many years?’ If you’re interested in this kind of thing, remember to do your research. Look thoroughly for the right company, usually the ones that offer TEFL training (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and talk to the right people. Choose somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit, and use the fear of a new challenge as adrenaline. Don’t spend too much time doubting yourself. I thought I would never find the courage in myself, until I found myself standing on stage in front of 3000 students introducing myself in broken Chinese!


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hilst I was at work in Europe, a colleague of mine could not find a pair of shoes to fit her very large feet. This Young Woman came to my flat and begged me to accompany her to a Shoe Store in Eastern Europe. I dropped my pen and notebook on my desk, grabbed my hat and coat to face the winter’s chill and we caught the bus into town to the Shoe store. The famous Shoe Store was Bata. We were both good at languages so much that I was awarded a language Trophy in Czech Language. My companion, the Young Woman, got down to the end of the store and was invited to try on several pairs of these delightful Bata Shoes. At first she was timid, as they had very high heels and she thought she would stumble and fall. So, together we found the Young Woman a pair of low heel shoes, black with the famous Bata label on the inside. We managed to get her big feet into these slim fitting shoes and then stood together smiling, feeling it was something of a

miracle. The Young Woman bought the shoes and she wore them with a new confidence to a Czech wedding with an outfit she had brought from England. She looked beautiful and maybe for the first time, she knew it. For the entire world, I felt confident that none of the guests at the wedding would notice that she had big feet as they were packed neatly into the new glamorous Bata shoes. She later thanked me for my support and I was invited to a karaoke night in town, in Russian for me, Czech for them and English for my Agent! So you see that the Young Woman did not let her Big Feet get in the way of her success and her problems were overcome ... All good things come in the end. The Young Woman persuaded my Agent to give me a present of some new Bata Shoes, which were comfortable yet so glamorous, a rare pair to find! They are in my shoe box as a keepsake of those inspirational days in Eastern Europe.

By Stella M. Thompson / Co Editor – Amey Upfold, Multi Book Author Published, BA PGCE QTS, Writer in Education and Science / diy girl magazine 25.


s we all try and put the shocking riots of the previous month behind us, the question of what democracy really means comes to the forefront of our thinking. Philosopher, John Stuart Mill, defined democracy in terms of utilitarianism, with the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people being society’s ultimate goal. Yet the riots clearly made evident the fact that a few people’s selfish pleasure for materialistic goods came at the cost of innocent residents’ livelihoods. Whenever we’re faced with inexplicable acts of violence, we’re compelled to search for a reason behind them. Although the riots began as a fight for the justice of a man shot dead by the police, they morphed into something much darker. We turned on our TV sets and we were immediately struck by the way such chaotic behaviour mirrored the unrest in countries, like Libya. How ironic to think that the one time the world was united it was via a state of warring, rather than peace. At its heart, democracy is all about the politics of power. When people lose faith in a society’s power, and aptitude to lead, they take it into their own hands to administer democratic justice in whatever way they find fit. This is negative democracy: the people may be reclaiming their power, but they do so in a way that impinges on their fellow citizens’ right to equality. Yet power can be much more transformational if used in a positive way. The medium of delivery is neutral until you place an intention behind it. Consider the power of the internet. What once was only the preserve of a small community of techno-geeks has now become a mass-market phenomenon for all. If used incorrectly, it can result in the underhand Blackberry Messenger Service, utilised for

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evil by the London rioters. Yet if used correctly, it can provide a platform to get your voice heard worldwide, whether be it, in the form of a personal blog or a regularly updated Twitter feed. This is democracy in action: placing the power in the hands of the people, so that everyone’s opinion matters. It’s the power to make a difference. As far as choice is concerned, not everyone is so fortunate. In countries such as Saudi Arabia, females are not allowed to vote, nor are they able to walk around unless accompanied by a male relation. Yet although we have much greater freedom available to us in the U.K, this is often taken for granted. We moan about being grounded for a day by our parents, when many people are grounded for life, whether by a forced marriage or restrictions on how they can live their own lives. We get given a polling card, a chance to exercise our free choice, only to rip it up, believing that our decisions cannot make a difference. But we can. As soon as we shrug off our apathy and vote as an end in itself rather than a means to an end, we are reclaiming the power for which the suffragettes fought. It’s about believing in our own choices strongly enough to take them from bullet points to ballot box. To start with, groups such as Amnesty International were small-scale, with just a handful of committed members, dedicated to a cause that they vehemently believed in. Today, the

organisation helps millions of unlawfully imprisoned people in their fight for ultimate justice. Democracy doesn’t just begin and end with politics. It’s the small but significant acts that you take in your everyday life to honour your fellow citizens. A woman who sees a beggar in the street, and offers him half of her chocolate bar. A woman, who speaks up for a young girl who’s bullied by a gang at the bus stop. A woman who sees each other individual as a fellow persons, rather than through the judgementalism of a label. Labels may only take a few seconds to express, but they also take many years to dismantle. We label people in order to try and make sense of our perceptions, not realising that we are ultimately perpetuating an “Us” and “Them” culture, which denigrates, rather than celebrates, differences. Yet beyond the categories of age, gender, beliefs and skin colour, we’re all fundamentally human, a fact which, undoubtedly, is the greatest democratic equaliser of all.

A Plea For Positive Democracy by Chantelle McInnes

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I have done my tattoo because I wanted to change something in my life, in my style. I needed more adrenaline in my life and having a tattoo was the perfect way to get it

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attoos are always fashionable and a part of people’s styling. However, when I started my tattoo-research I found out that tattoos are not only just a part of the styling like the accessories. The process of making a tattoo is complicated and demands courage.


When I started to be interested in tattoos the first thing I had to consider was the fact that the tattoo was going to be a part of my life forever. The making of the tattoo should be a conscious decision which should not make one scream hysterically when waking up in the morning and seeing one’s body in the mirror. Peter Smith*, a final year student at Solent University, has a tattoo of four years. He explained that he does not regret having a tattoo and would not change his decision. However, according to him the most important thing was to make a tattoo on a place where one cannot see it all the time. Why? Because one might get bored with it, and very likely start hating it. As everything in this world, tattoos have their positives and negatives. The advantages and disadvantages of tattoos mainly depend on people’s opinion. It can be said that there are more negatives than positives and I agree with that. One of the biggest advantages of tattoos is that they all have symbolic meaning and are excellent for presentation of one’s personality. I know many people who are interested in art and they all share the opinion that tattoos are a way to express one’ self. Tattoos give meaning and style to individuals and show who they are. His tattoo is of a dragon, Chinese rose and symbols: “The dragon is to express myself. I was born in the year of the dragon. The symbols mean “unique” and “hope”, things in which I believe in. And the Chinese rose… well, it’s to make the tattoo look better”. Peter admitted with laugh. The negatives of tattoos are definitely more that their positives. One of the biggest negatives is that tattoos are permanent. I think that is the most considered point when people decide if they want a tattoo or not. After you decide to have a permanent tattoo which is going to be a part of you for the rest of your life, you have to consider some health issues. It is possible to get an infection because of the ink which is used for the tattooing. Also, as a part of your body, tattoo changes with the age. When you get old and have wrinkles, your tattoo is going to have wrinkles too. If you gain weight, the tattoo is going to change its shape. It is the same if you loose weight. Some people say that if you choose the right location of your body, the tattoo will not change but that is not true. The whole body changes during the years and so does the tattoo. However, according to a 21 year old Milena*, from Sofia, there are places where you can make your tattoo with the belief that it will not change: “I know that the change of the tattoo during the years is a serious problem, especially for a woman, and can confirm its negativity. But I took that risk. I have my tattoo of 2 years. No matter how much weight has changed on me, the tattoo is still the same, and I love it.” Another disadvantage of tattooing is that people with tattoos are not very well accepted by the society. Still, there are many people who consider that someone is having a tattoo is not a serious or responsible person. Because of that it is more difficult for people who have tattoos to get into certain jobs, for example, if they want to be lawyers or journalists who work on television and the tattoo is on a visible place.


In conclusion I can say that it is always up to people. There are positives and negatives and there are many different opinions about tattooing. However, one of the most important things to consider before making a tattoo is the location. Since it is going to be with you for your whole life, choose a place and design which will make you happy with it. diy girl magazine 29.

PHOTO: Pal Hamre

SOME MEN BEHIND DO IT YOURSELF GIRL MAGAZINE Having seen the good-cause behind Do It Yourself Girl magazine, several men have since associated with the growth of the magazine in different ways. In this issue, we would like to share with you some of the few we managed to come across at one of our live shows at Unity 101 community Radio.

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From Left To Right: Pal Hamre, Ram Kalyan, Tendi Sibongile Musiyazviriyo, Ian Butcher

Unity 101 Community Radio


e would like to pass our sincere thank you to Mr Ram Kalyan (Kelly), the Project & Station Manager at Unity 101, for presenting Do It Yourself Girl a great opportunity to present at the station. Kelly realised a need to market the newly established magazine, and the best he could was to offer means to do so at no cost at all. Days after our live shows, we now receive emails complimenting the objectives behind the magazine and we can only say thank you to be one of the chosen to air at Unity 101 Community Radio. There is also Pal Hamre, a dedicated 3rd Year photography student at Solent University, currently assisting Do It Yourself Girl with taking photos whenever required to. With his demanding university work load, Pal still make himself available and is always eager to ensure that the magazine professionally grows with quality taken pictures. Last but not least there was also Ian Butcher, the Sports England Active Women’s Project Worker from Catch 22. Ian was the first ever male to be interviewed at Unity 101 Community Radio. It was really fascinating to have a man in the studio, talking about his work and how he helps women in our communities. It was exciting to see that women aren’t only helped by other women but also by men. Ian explained what Active Women’s Project was all about and it will be great for all women out there to utilise such services around.

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inter ’s Bone (2010, USA, Debra Granik) unfolds amidst a landscape that looks as if it was plucked directly from John Hillcoat’s recent adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel, “The Road”. The surroundings are desolate and bleak. It might be the middle of the day, and yet there is a morbid darkness throughout the locale; the trees are tall and bare and stand rock-steady in the presence of no wind. They are located not too far from the beaten track. They are plentiful and bunched up over small stretches of land making for a wooded labyrinth of wildlife and dead wood.

The film wonderfully balances these character studies with the meatier central narrative of finding Ree’s father, as well as some touching other content to do with Ree mentoring her infant brother and sister in the art of hunting and maintaining their lodgings, in what is an exciting depiction of Lawrence’s character attempting to upset the established norm - these agricultural patriarchies, in her looking for her father. Winter’s Bone is a persistently engaging thriller made with real guile and maturity. A film without several millions worth of money thrown at it, and instead built on good, solid foundations resulting in a memorable exercise.


merican director Debra Granik here shoots what is her third filmic directorial effort and doing a fine job in telling the disturbing tale of a young American girl, local to these ruralised pastures of modern day Missouri, trying to balance her life in what is a fine Oscar-nominated independent drama. We are asked to deduce, going on the opening shots, which the lead character has already grown up a fair bit and taken on her share of responsibility. This lead is played by the remarkable Jennifer Lawrence, an actress around about nineteen at the time of the shoot and here playing the seventeen year old Ree Dolly; a girl with a humble one storey wooden shack within which she lives alongside her two infant siblings as well as a mother whom has a condition that sees her occupy a somewhat permanent vegetative state.

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Around her lies a window into a world of drugs and guns that she has so far avoided, while Granik manages to juxtapose a world set on the farming-orientated lands of where we’re at with this inherent aura of a gang-culture sensibility; a harsh juxtaposition of a place often depicted as ‘safe’ or upstanding blended with a mean spirited, sordid undertone of gangster-like hierarchy involving casual drug use; GBH (gross bodily harm), and gun play. Lawrence does a remarkable job. She juggles frailty and aggression in equal measure in a manner that more broadly syncs up with the fact her character is juggling the bringing up of her little brother and sister as best she can on top of the looking for her missing father, whom desperately needs to be found. She is an empowered and independent presence in a ruralised world of farming; bovine auctioning; the manly process of wood cutting; animal skinning and trailer-park owning, truck driving cutthroats doing their utmost to get by and doing even more to blot out anybody else. We sense the world in which Ree lives, is as real and as frightening as it is constructed. It is established very early on that her younger siblings have difficulty spelling words as routine as “House”, whereas simple addition takes a while to figure out. At nearby community colleges, we observe through Ree’s pained gaze that of young men getting involved in mother-care tuition classes and, in another workshop hall, females just as young engaging in U.S. Army marching drills. Just as school girls enjoyed football practice and young men made for good cooks in Bill Forsyth’s Gregory’s Girl (1981), this is very much the sort of piece resisting the need to categorise; a film resisting the adhering to place limits on what someone of a specific gender may achieve.

Ree’s father, a man with a chequered history in relation to an array of local people making up families, some of which he is indeed related to, has gone missing. This is not news to the family whom he walked out on however long ago, although the pinch to the situation this time is that after being caught for something by the authorities and let out again on bail, he placed the family home up as collateral meaning if he dodges his court date, a repossession will have to take place. Cash is scarce as is, but with nowhere else for Ree and company. to go, something needs to be done in not an awful lot of time. Around Ree’s quest is the indelible presence of the Acadamey Award nominated John Hawkes, playing a character rather ironically named Teardrop; a grizzled character romping through these gaunt, sparsely populated nether-regions - a spiteful, often easily enraged rancher whose being in the film acts as the principal character study alongside Ree’s story. In a film in which the male characters the lead often comes to interact with, are depicted as aggressive and unkind, whilst the other females are either mothers or considerably caring and understanding. The film skirts any issue to do with sexism by taking Teardrop from this equally dismissive; unshaven; hulking individual with a penchant to strike someone if it means getting their point across, and developing him into a helping ally working the case with Ree after a change of heart instead of standing egotistically opposite her.

In spite of his initial troubles with the law, Blomkvist is a character the film constructs as homely and friendly; an alluding to innocence through time spent at home with a large, loving group of close friends at a Christmas function. In tandem with this, Nyqvist delivers the subtly disparaged reactions required to have us tempted into siding with him when required as he stands in the street with the news coverage of his case’s results all around him. Prior to his sentence taking effect, he is given a job by a company tycoon named Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube); a job that sees him charged with finding a certain Harriet, Henrik’s niece, who vanished as a young girl nearly forty years ago. Where Lisbeth cuts a dash as a 21st Century private eye, Blomkvist will go on to epitomise a more classical breed of private investigator; a man of fair age granted that grizzled look and forced out and about into a sea of investigation and logical deduction. In the vein of an American film noir from yesteryear, this lead must get the low-down on a specific person who has gone missing.


he Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2010, Niels Arden Oplev) is the adaptation of the first of three novels in a literary franchise penned by Swedish author Stieg Larsson; a recent series of books which went on to garner domestic, and later international, responses of an highly affectionate sort. Their reputation, or aura, appears only to have intensified following Larsson’s own unfortunate passing in 2004 at the age of 50; a tragic happening that saw the series remain stagnant for a few years until reaching the stage of filmic pre-production brought about by joint-Swedish and Danish companies. As each book was adapted into a film, and consequently did the rounds at European festival circuits as well as multiplex cinemas alike, the staying power of the whole franchise has escalated – the effect of these numerous things totalling up and resulting in the much more recent announcement, begrudgingly to most, that accomplished American director David Fincher will be reworking them in the English language. This initial adaptation more than makes the grade, the film an electrifying and inspiring slice of cause and effect thriller film-making; a story all-at-once brutally but brilliantly fleshed out from twisting, turning and often sordid foundations into a cut-and-dry piece we are behind every step of the way. If, in the franchise, there is this overall sense of danger intensification with each new title (the beginning with a titular “girl” and her dragon tattoo spilling out into that same titular girl and her consequent “Playing with Fire” which further still leads onto a subsequent “Kicking” of a “Hornet’s

Nest”), then so too is there such a sense as to the general well-being of the central characters in this first film. The film arrives on account of Danish director Niels Arden Oplev , a man working from a screenplay by his Danish colleagues in Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg. It is driven by Swedish performers from an original Swedish text - this sense of two sets of varying people, from differing nations or otherwise, coming together and working towards one goal additionally prominent throughout the piece. Our two leads, a tall and somewhat spindly 24 year old female hacker/surveillance expert named Lisbeth Salander, played by Noomi Rapace, and her eventual ally Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), a disgraced but ultimately innocent middleaged man, are two people whose binary oppositions to one another are plentiful, but their forging of a team and taking on the elements epitomising much of the behind the camera camaraderie. Lisbeth cuts an odd figure, a shaggy looking young woman with piercings over most of her face; spiked black hair and similarly toned makeup. She spies on Blomkvist on account of a security firm whom want tabs kept on him, a journalist with a Stockholm magazine who finds himself six months away from a jail term for losing a libel case on a powerful domestic businessman. Lisbeth comes across as a post-modern spin on the old private eye character from decades old. Alone, wry and facing imposing odds in a brooding city locale, we observe her treading a fine line between the moral course and the righteous one never really knowing what to think of her. Like private investigators of old, she watches another human being in the only fashion you’d expect for this day and age: via illegal access to their laptop and SMS in-boxes - all before being caught up in a wider web of smut and danger that she didn’t initially envisage.

The body of the film is the two of them working together. A happening born out of Lisbeth’s independent attitude to down-tools at her end and contact him over something he’s missed in the disappearance. Around their coming together lies a delicate, intricate character study on top of a diligent thriller narrative which keeps on going and keeps working as well as it does. Lisbeth is established to despise men with the men in her life for the best part of the opening half an hour being slimy, grotesque and exploitative. The realisation of her Misandric attitudes, more broadly linked to a past tragedy in life, is wonderfully inserted into the meat of the film’s investigative strand; her coming into contact with Blomkvist the bonding with a male specimen that is kind, understanding and is ultimately an individual doing what he’s doing for the greater good of another female. Together, they battle what essentially transpires to be a bonechilling right-wing force of misogyny. The film is an exciting, diligent thriller; a film with an intelligent character study and a cracking narrative always asking us to keep up to its speed, the likes of which it is difficult not to whole heartedly recommend.

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ith various projects involved, on the 1st of July 2011, Catch 22 – 3D project started another branch project called Victim and Witness project, Laura Cooper explained to Do It Yourself Girl magazine. This project is composed of two main parts. The main purpose of the project is to intensively support women by offering many different services. The first part is called Risk of Sexual Exploitation/ Offending. This offers not only individual support up to 15 hours per week but also emotional and practical support around issues such as housing and benefits to crime and offending. Any women aged 16 to 21-years-old can receive access to services for issues around substance misuse. Catch 22 – 3D Project offers advices on risky relationships, staying safe and sexual health. The project offers to aid access to training and education, and provides a tailored individual action plan. The second part of the project is on Victims or Witnesses of Crime. It offers additional support to victims and witnesses during pre-court, court and post-court processes. They provide them with support to prevent future offending, by providing information, support and guidance. It empowers the victims or witnesses of crime to participate and have confidence in Criminal Justice processes. Also offered is a specific female-only service focused on addressing the distinct needs of vulnerable women/ girls. The project supports them to deal with issues pre-dating or arising from the incident. Likewise, Catch 22 – 3D Project provides a signposting and advocacy service. According to a research, 84% of young people who received help, said that they benefited from witness support and it helped them feel more confident. It is also a fact that young people who have been victims of crime are five times more likely

to offend than other young people, and this risk is increased in young women. Therefore, 3D is aiming to support young women with the objective of increasing availability of support and intervention services to victims and witnesses. Victim and Witness project works with 16 – 21 year olds and is looking for volunteers to help. If anyone is interested, they can contact uk. Alternatively, if people want to get in touch, they can phone 023 8022 7703/04 from Monday to Friday between 9am – 5pm. People can also email 3D.Southampton@ Do It Yourself Girl, was also able to meet Ian Butcher, the Sports England Active Women’s Project Worker (Catch 22 – Baseline) and explored what The Active Women’s Project is all about. Located at number 135, St Mary’s Street, in Southampton, SO14 1NX, the Active Women’s Project is a 3 year Sport England Funded Project. It’s a new project for women in the Southampton area. It offers women a chance to try for free, a range of sports and activities. The sessions offered are social, fun, and enjoyable. They usually include badminton, boxing, canoeing, rowing and orienteering. Active Women also offers women help to learn new skills, develop their natural talent while at the same time improving their health and wellbeing. Active Women can also help women who are interested in trying a new sport in a supportive and all female environment. To prove how diverse their services are, Ian also invited all women to attend the event below. If you missed the event on the 5th of November, at least you can have an idea of what to expect from the Active Women’s Project. To learn more, why not directly contact them and take advantage of the free services offered!




do it yourself girl magazine issue 4  

do it yourself girl magazine issue 4