LFW – #TommyNow show. What it was like being there.

I, for one, cannot believe I get to write a blogpost about attending a London Fashion Week show. Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to attend one. It was always my goal, but, I knew that you had to be invited to the shows, which meant I had no hope at all.  However, whilst scrolling through my Twitter feed I saw that Yanin, (PrettySickly) had an opportunity to attend the Tommy Hilfiger RockCircus show…of course I jumped at the chance and… I won!

Let me start by saying, I cannot thank Yanin enough for choosing me and my plus one Sophie, for this experience. To see any London Fashion Week show would be a plus, but to see the one, where two of my biggest muses, Gigi Hadid show her third Tommy collection and walk the show, as well as her beautiful sister, Bella Hadid (that I have a crush on!) with all their model friends, it was a dream come true. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

The whole process began with the decision of – what am I gonna wear??? For a broke graduate, I knew I would not be able to buy the dream outfit I would want to wear so had to settle for something less. I was umming and ahhing all week before the show, shall I order this? Shall I order that? Hmmm. It wasn’t until the day before I headed into town in hope that something jumped out at me. The weather has turned cold and I was so not up for wearing anything that would make me freezing. So, I settled for this outfit.

A £10 dress from Primark. Thanks Primark, you babes. My favourite part of the outfit is, the studded boots (from H&M) and fishnet socks teamed with the biggest, brightest, Pat Butcher-esque earrings from Topshop.

 

Tommy Hilfiger – RockCircus was on Tuesday 19th September and that afternoon I headed up to London to meet Sophie for pre-fashion week dinner. After dinner in our favourite chinese restaurant in Leicester Square Mr Wong, we headed to the venue. When we arrived, we were in a completely different line and completely bi-passed all the people. How cool. How VIP. How sassy. We had to wait outside for around an hour until we were allowed in.

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When entering the venue we were handed a Tommy Hilfiger drawstring bag. Yaaas!! As soon as we got in, there were stands with the collection that was being shown on. There were photo booths. There were GIF booths. There were people offering wine. There were people offering free burgers, hot dogs and fish and chips. There was a bar. It was all lit up like a circus inside, with a big Tommy RockCircus light up sign. It was something that I had never ever seen before. I was overwhelmed. 

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One, that I was even in the building and I was actually at an invite only London Fashion Week show, but how incredible it looked as well. We found a spot where we could stand and chilled until the show started, trying to spot the celeb just down from where we stood every time a bunch of paparazzi had their cameras flashing. All whilst standing, sipping wine and taking it all in. It wasn’t long until someone who was working the show, walked by and offered a halloumi burger. HALLOUMI BURGER. ALL THE YES FROM ME. Damn, it was sooooo good.

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It wasn’t too long until the show started and that was when the adrenaline kicked in and the buzz was felt in the atmosphere. Gigi walked out first and I swear, I could of fainted. I’ve admired this lady and her work ethic for so long and to see her, right there, in front of me. Literally, arms length away. Wow. I could feel that inner 14 year old fangirl in me about to make an appearance. The show had the most perfect soundtrack. Hip hop/RnB to strut your stuff too. I was so tempted to join in, not sure if they would like that though. I was stood with water in my eyes a few times, just so beyond grateful to be there. My dream coming true before my eyes

Gigi and Bella Hadid – ahhhhh!!!

Jourdan Dunn, Hayley Baldwin, Georgia May Jagger, Joan Smalls and a smiling Bella

When the fashion show had finished, there was a legit circus act happening. People on a trapeze and swinging from hoops, climbing big pieces of material, just wow. Whilst that was all happening, the stage was getting set for the one and only The Chainsmokers. They were performing at the afterparty. YES! I’ve loved these guys for a long time, just a cherry on top of the cake. Whilst standing watching The Chainsmokers (wow amazing live!) we were handed mini doughnuts. This show was the most incredible, amazing, overwhelming event I have ever, ever been to. 

Sophie and I stood watching the show for a little while before taking a wonder round. I didn’t want to mooch before the show, as I didn’t want to lose what incredible space we had. We went into the photobooth and got the biggest poster, with the Tommy London writing over the top as a take away gift for being there. We posed with microphones and a star tamborine. Just like Gigi does in the promo running up to the event. I was living the dream. 

Even now, 16 hours after coming home from the event I am still on a buzz. I cannot believe I was given this opportunity. I cannot believe I saw Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid with all their model friends. I always catch up on these guys, when they walk catwalk shows. Then, they were right in front of me. I cannot believe I got to attend such an incredible, well put on and fun event at London Fashion Week.

I hope in the future I can attend more London Fashion Week events, they are so fun. And, thank you, once again Yanin, for making my dream come true. 

 

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Happy two years Southampton

Grab yourself a cuppa, this one is going to be long. Today marks exactly two years ago I made one of the biggest decisions and done the biggest thing I’ve ever done; move over 100 miles away from my family and friends. 100 miles away from home.

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-19-51-46I still remember the run up to going away. I remember every time I went to go and visit my nan. She would have added an essential thing you needed to have when living on your own which I would never of thought of. You know things like medicine – of course you’ll need that at some point unless you’re supernatural and immune to all illnesses, if thats the case please give me your secret. My nan still does that to this day, tops me up with the stuff that I will need but may not already gone out to buy it or wouldn’t necessary bought with a food shop – thank you nan! I really appreciate it.

I also remember my going away meal. The meal where my family got together for a little goodbye to uni and I bought my good friend Shannon along. It was the weekend before I went and I remember then it kicking in that my family won’t just be down the road. That if I needed eggs to bake cakes I wasn’t able to just run to my nan and steal two eggs and instead have to go to the shop and grab six eggs and waste four because I don’t like eating eggs on their own.

However, it meant that I was about to start to gain my own independence and that was exciting. I was about to have all the freedom I possibly could have, not that I didn’t have that before but even more so now. It meant that I had to grow up, quickly. Hell did it smack me round the face as soon as I got there. Once I had grabbed my fob (I was staying in student halls first year, as many people do) and unloaded the car of way too much of my belongings into my room I’ll be living in for the next ten months, grabbed a food shop and saw my dad off which was hands down one of the worst times – ever, I headed back to my room and sat on my bed thinking, what now with tears down my face. Even now when I say bye I always cry, there’s something about your family leaving you down away that is just so so sad.

In my first year I’m not going to lie I got homesick a lot. To the point I wouldn’t leave my room and just lay in bed feeling sad. I missed the whole different lifestyle I had at home which I didn’t realise I had until I moved away. I would call any family member as many times as I could just to talk to them. I didn’t even meet the people I’m currently living now, who lived down my hallway until a few weeks in. Not every one has an experience like that but because I feel like I’m such a family girl, it hit me hard. Looking back on that to now I don’t get it nearly as much. I’ve finally got round to thinking in my head, I’m only a three hour train ride home, it’s not that bad. Besides, it’s so much nicer to go home and see my family after a long while, it feels more… special?

It’s no secret if you’ve read my blog before that I have a mental health illness which is triggered majorly by anxiety and depression. It was life changing moving away from home and battling with that. It’s made me more aware of how to look after myself more and it literally is just me here, to look after myself. If I’m sick and I don’t have medicine in, I have to go out and buy it and still make my dinner and get through the day. This is probably one of the biggest thing’s I’ve learnt. I have had an overwhelming amount of support for this, however. Last year, just after I had started my second year I went to seek help with dealing with anxiety and the way it was making me feel from the uni after advice. It helped me a lot. I’ve wrote about it in a blog post here.

All in all I have learnt a lot about myself. I have a stable job here now, I’ve been passing my university projects and now going into third year and I have my own little uni family. I know more than two people now, I know all the great coffee shops and take aways and I now have people down here who look out for me. I have no idea, how I’ve made it this far without going home… especially after them first few weeks, but I battled through it and still going now. It’s been an adventure for sure. I still haven’t left Southampton and gone anywhere else down the south coast, that is still on my list to do, as well as go the Isle of Wight.

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A massive special thank you to the family and friends who listen to my rants constantly. Who listen when I have something I’m finding difficult and just need to speak it out. Those who give the most invaluable advice and those who check up on me to see how I’m doing. Those who call me for hours and hours because I’m feeling alone and those who text me to make sure I’m OK. I appreciate it so much, so so much. Genuinely. If you have just moved to uni and feeling alone, down, don’t really know what to do.. please please do message me. I would so love to help you and give you tips.

I’m lucky now that I can call Southampton my second home and I’m proud of myself.

University – Top five tips

It’s already September – how? Although this does mean Autumn, i.e- cosy jumpers, drinking hot chocolate with lots of cream and marshmallows and not getting weird looks, PUMPKIN SPICED LATTES, cute over the knee socks – you get the idea. It also means for some people a stressful time of moving away from home to a whole new city, where they may not know anyone and it can be scary. I’m about to go into my third year at university and now quite used to the lifestyle that comes with moving away.

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(Photo credit: Instagram – positiveheadspace)

I have some of my top tips which I have learnt after moving away. It’s all so exciting moving away and I can tell you it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve gained so much independence and learnt life things which I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t move away.

I’ve piled some into a list for you here and I hope they help you in one way, or another:

– BUY EARPLUGS. Oh christ I wish I knew this before I moved to university. I didn’t use them in first year and just put up with the noise. Only recently have I bought some as next door have parties regularly and they are the best investment. You might not need them every night but it’s so good to have them there incase you do. They will become your best friend. 

–  If you can, get a group together to do a food shop and get it delivered to your halls/house. It’s so much easier than trailing across town with bags and bags of food. If you split the cost of delivery and pay your own share, its lifesaving. Seriously.

– If you’re moving into halls getting a lock for your cupboard stops people getting in your cupboard and stealing food. Although you can only control it in the fridge if you buy yourself a mini fridge for your room (I did, best £30 spent! Who doesn’t want milk in your room for a late night cuppa without leaving your room?) 

Keep on top of washing up. There is nothing more frustrating for other flatmates/housemates than someone in the kitchen who doesn’t clean their own plates up. There is also a hygiene issue with this too. Not ok. Just keep on top of everything in general. If you stick post-it notes over your room and it helps – do it. If you’re someone who like to keep a diary and write stuff down like me – buy one. It will help you so much and you will feel so much more productive. 

– If you are missing home or have other issues then please, please go and speak to someone within the university. There will be a student support centre within your uni who are there for you. It’s there job to look out for people. Don’t ever feel like you are being too silly or a burden  I did feel this before I went to talk to them and they’re so helpful. They offer services for all sorts of issues including money, homesickness and mental health to name a few. Best thing I done was talk to them. Honestly.

– Keep track of your assignments and work. It goes without saying really. I only decided to discover the library at the end of second year – yep. It is the perfect place for work to get peace and quiet. Sometimes your house/halls can be too loud to get some work done. Also, if you don’t do anything whilst there, it still feels productive because you’re at the library. If you struggle with writing/reading there will be people at the library who can help you too. Win/win.

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(Photo credit: Instagram – positiveheadspace)

Make sure you have the best time. Although at some points it may get too much just remember why and how you got there. You can do it. You will get through that ever ending to do list. You will get that assignment thats kept you up for months done and you will get used to being away from home.  Remember if you ever do have any issues, especially homesickness message me any time. You can do it and it will be the best years of your life, honestly!

Don’t let trichy days get you down

Incase you’ve missed it, it’s been unbelievably hot recently. During this week the weather has hit temperatures of 31 degrees. THIRTY ONE. In the UK that is unbelievably hot. I don’t think we are prepared enough for this type of weather, considering it only happens around three times in a year, no joke.

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If you are like me and suffer from Trichotillomania (Trich) then it can be incredibly hard to get through the warm days as well as the not so warm days. I must say recently, I’m not sure what it is, but I haven’t pulled that much. I have pulled but it hasn’t been to the extent that I’ve been sat there hours at a time doing it, which is a massive massive step for me. I am however about to go into my third year at university with final major projects and dissertations to be writing, so I’ll look back at this time with a massive smile and say that I can do it. YAS!

I have a few different ways which I have that help me try to cope with Trich and just general bad days. It’s so frustrating there is no cure for Trichotillomania. There are ways however that make me feel a little bit happier. I’m still learning every single day how to deal with this myself, so if you have any suggestions please do let me know. I have put a few together in this blogpost and hope it helps someone with Trich or gives people ideas how they can help someone if they have Trich. Some of these can be for sad days too.

– It goes without saying, always always try and keep your hands busy. 100%. If you know what triggers you to pull then plan in advance how you can distract your hands. Carry a stress ball with you at all times. Its small and can fit in your bag/pocket and that way you know you’ve always got something to help. 

– Talk to someone. I suffered myself everyday for so many years and I kept it to myself. It’s 100% true, Trich makes you feel the lowest of lows. It makes you feel like you can’t be in control of yourself. It makes you so down, so so down and so self conscious. It is the worst thing to go through and especially by yourself. A very few close people knew of it and of course people notice it. Talk to someone. Whether they be professional or someone you can trust and know you can talk to, friends/family/teachers/work mates. It will be hard, they may not understand straight away but once you talk about it more, it’ll become easier. Remember if you or someone you know needs to talk to someone and are afraid… I’m always happy to. Always. 

If you are feeling down and upset one of the best ways to lift your mood is to pamper yourself. Pampering can help so much with Trich. For example, putting a hair mask on your hair it begins to repair your hair and makes your hair oily. Oily hair helps you not grab strands of your hair and pull them. In my own experience hair oil on my hair makes my hair feel less coarse and stops me pulling. After you wash it let it dry naturally. Wet hair is also really hard to pull or snap as it doesn’t have the same texture as you normally pull. 

– I’m seeing these appear more and more in shops and it’s making me very happy. They have been a huge fashion statement this Spring/Summer and I’m sure they’ll carry through to the colder months too. Hair wraps/headscarfs. I was sceptical at first but my goodness they are a god send. You can wear them SO many ways. I have a Youtube video planned to film showing you how I style them. I’ve began to wear them not to just tie round my head but they look damn cute tied around a hair bun or even a balaclava around your neck (I’ve been doing that a lot when it hasn’t been too hot and will carry it through to autumn, definitely!) 

– On Trichy days I genuinely wear my hair up. I’ve been wearing my hair up a lot recently, because finally the underneath bits where I had broken it off have grown back and I don’t need as many hair grips – YAS! You can do your hair in all cute little styles too. I’m really loving the two Miley buns, the top knot and two french braids. I see a whole lot more growth if I have my hair up too which is amazing. 

– Go out. As soon as you get out of bed make it. I find if I make it straight away it stops me from climbing back in it. I know you more than likely don’t want to face the world but even a small trip to a coffee shop and getting a take away coffee makes me feel so much better. I think it’s the air, fresh air.

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(Both photos from an Instagram account called trich.otillomania. A special shoutout to whoever runs this account. If you don’t already follow them on Instagram and you have Trich then I would recommend. They just get i t. I also recommend if you don’t have Trich and want to learn more of how it feels to deal with it and for some positivity then I’d suggest following them too. I’m so grateful for the account and making me feel less alone.)

I hope some of these tips help someone with Trich or helps someone you may know with Trich. It’s an awful thing to go through and can be difficult to understand but if you have it – you’ve got this! If you don’t then please, whatever you do, be understanding of those who do.

Personal letter to Trich – Part 2.

Dear Trich,

Recently I have regained one of my personal items which has so many of my old photos on, my iPod. I’ve had this iPod for SO long, years in fact. I used to use it instead of a phone as it had the features of a phone and a camera. You know me, always taking selfies, selfies selfies selfies – all day long. However, during these times I also captured how you destroyed my hair and my self confidence. I captured it all.

One train journey I was sat listening to the music and thought I’d have a look on my iPod and found there was over 7,000 photos on there.. how? You always seem to think long journeys are OK for me to pull my hair, but today I’m not giving you the satisfaction. I will not be pulling.

A few scrolls up I begin to see photos from a few years ago.. Photos where my hair is literally destroyed from you and how sad I look. How I knew I could never take the perfect photo for my social media to fit in with the trends, because of you. Maybe you just didn’t think I would be worthy of a good picture so you made me destroy the part of me which I’m most self conscious about. Who knows? I couldn’t even tye my hair up, you made that incredible difficult too. All underneath was broken as well as the sides.

What was worse, I was way too afraid to tell people who you were. Why I was pulling my hair out. Why I was snapping my hair off. Why I had so many hair clips in my hair just to tie it up  (I counted once – 12 hair grips). Why I had considerably shorter hair on the sides and underneath. WHY I just felt awkward in selfies and why I tried to hide the hair the best I could. I was ashamed of you. I was ashamed that I was letting you ruin my appearance. I was also scared that if I told people what it really was they’d think I was strange and it would drive them away from me, just because of you. You made my life, hell.

Then another year came round and I’ve now decided that you will not rule me anymore. I’ve learnt so much about you. I found out why you make me do this. Why you want me to feel sad and down all the time. Now, I will try my absolute hardest to not let my confidence be affected by you. Why should I? I have decided to speak out about you. I’ve decided to not let you just sit inside me and decided that other people should know about you and the effects you have on people. I have decided that I will try and resist it every single time you say to me I should be pulling or there is a coarse bit in my hair. I will try and beat you, as hard as I can.

Due to trying all these things my hair has grown a lot more at the sides and underneath. It has probably made you mad, but it’s made me happy. That’s the main thing. I will carry on trying to beat you and I will encourage anyone/everyone I know they can do it too. They can get on and be confident without you. They can become stronger from this. I will also continue to bring your name up in conversations and carry on raising awareness about you so people do not have to suffer alone.

We can all do this. We won’t let Trich beat us.

Yours sincerely,

Charlotte, a trich fighter.

Hair journey – dark brown to blonde

I did it. I’ve been wanting to do it properly for a few years now. I have been platinum blonde before and I adored it. There’s something about having a complete contrast hair colour to your natural hair colour that makes you feel SASSY. I feel so much more confident blonde, I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s because I have such pale skin that the dark brown washed me out and blonde doesn’t? I’m not sure. Of course going from dark brown to blonde would have its consequences as it has damaged my hair – a lot. I’m no professional with hair dye and dying hair and maybe some people will call me stupid for doing it, but why not? My theory is, if it goes wrong… there’s always a darker colour. That may not be the best thing to think but, its the truth.

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I went for a treatment before I dyed my hair. As you would know I have a compulsive repetitive mental health disorder called Trichotillomania (Trich). I know right, a mouthful. I have wrote about it before a couple of times but here are some links from my blog if you haven’t yet seen them. The treatment I got is called Olaplex. The treatment thats done is in two parts. Part one was left on for ten minutes before applying part two. It repairs the bonds within your hair, which is perfect for someone who breaks and snaps off hair. The hairdresser said to me I could keep it on for as long as I like for a better result, but no less than half an hour. I ended up keeping it on my hair for two hours and a bit and it made my hair feel brand new. In the past, I have dyed and dyed my hair, all different colours which involves bleaching it many times. My hair at one point stuck upwards and stayed there. I also cannot remember when my hair actually moved or swayed in the wind. After the Olaplex treatment it felt like it had quite literally been reborn. My hair moved when I turned my head and just felt so light and refreshed. I honestly, 100%, cannot wait to rebook in after pay day. So worth the money.

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The next day, after my treatment, I began the bleaching process. All hairdressers will cringe at this and if they could see me will probably slap my hand for the amount of times I have dyed my hair in the last seven days. I think all in all I have used around four bleaches, four ash blondes, a baby blonde, a toner and numerous purple shampoo baths. CRAZY. It took me six months from the first time I dyed my hair blonde from red and only a week this time. It’s still brassy but, as I’m sure you’ll all be happy to know, I will be giving it a rest from dyes for a while. Purple shampoo and coconut oil is quite literally my best friend right now. I would advise, however, that if you want to go blonde from dark brown to go to your hairdressers. I probably ended up spending the same money on hair dyes myself that I would spend at the hairdressers getting it professionally done. If you have Trich and pull from your hair, you’ll know hairdressers are scary places and I try, personally to stay away from them as much as I can.

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I really absolutely feel so much better being blonde. I feel so much happier, so much confident. During the process of bleaching I have destroyed my hair. I’ve made it coarse, I’ve made it broken and all of these are things that trigger Trich. There have been times recently where I’ve felt anxious and that is a trigger for Trich. Having blonde hair and dark bedding/furniture or even wearing dark clothes, you can see it more and it makes you feel so rubbish. Although there is still that voice inside you that wants you to keep pulling and searching. No matter if I have a deep treatment on to repair my hair there is still that voice. I refuse to let Trich make me dye my hair back brown because it’s the easier way out. I’m ready for this fight and it won’t beat me. It can sometimes get me when I don’t want it to but it won’t beat me. That’s my promise.

(Thank you JJ for the pics, and support always. Always my B!)

Here are my three top blonde hair care products:

Purple shampoo

Toner

Bleach

If anyone has dyed their hair blonde and have any recommendations for deep treatments for home, then please let me know.

Trichy Days and Massive Goals

The blog for today has been inspired by the amount of support I’ve received from people of the inter-webs and people who I know. I’m so overwhelmed from the messages I receive when I post Trich blogs.

When I wrote my first ever Trich post I was so nervous. It was my little secret, something which although it destroys me and makes me emotional as well as angry, it was one thing the world didn’t know about me. Of course if people had seen me they would have noticed the 100 million times which my arm reaches my hair to grab the strands and snap off, but they may not necessary know the term for it. Many people thought it was a bad habit and something I would snap out of and just stop. Through my blog I hope I have given people who don’t know what it is like an insight into how awful and compulsive this mental health illness is. I hope I have given someone who does have it the feeling that they’re not alone in this.

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SAM_0177After releasing my little secret into the world I felt a sense of relief. I thought, well.. at least now people will not question and hopefully won’t find it weird if they catch me pulling or searching my hair. The response from them have been amazing and so many people have contacted me saying things such as they didn’t know it existed and that they may have the same condition but not know about it. That is all I’ve ever wanted from these blogs, to raise awareness as well as letting people know that if they have the same condition that they are not ‘weird’ and they are not alone.

There are days where it is an absolute struggle to get yourself out of the state of you want to pull. It is hard to pull yourself up out of bed and face the world. There are days where you just don’t want to face anyone, you don’t want the world to ask you questions such as “Can you leave your hair alone for a minute?” “Doesn’t it hurt when you consistently pull all the time?” I have days like these, we all have days like these where we don’t want to face everyone but, if you put on something that makes you sassy and you take care of you, you will feel so much better.

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My five top tips for helping me deal with Trich and not getting out of bed which I have used lately are:

Once you do get out of bed, make it. Make your bed straight away. It helps me stop getting back in the covers and stay out.

Do some TLC. Put on a face mask. Put some extra make up on if you want or don’t wear make up at all. Put your fav sassy lipstick on. Wear your favourite clothes or just stay in your PJs. Do what you want but make sure it’s TLC.

BAKE CAKES. I did this the other day and this was also the best thing I’ve done in a while. What’s better than making food, waiting for it to cook then cool, decorate them THEN EAT THEM.

Take a walk. Even if its round the block or down the road. If you’re not feeling up to that open the window. Something about fresh air that makes you feel better.

Read your fav book and put on your fav music and turn it up LOUD. Dance around your room with your hair brush as a microphone or sit and have a cuppa tea with a book. Hell why not do both at the same time.

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This day of taking the photos (that were taken by my fabulous friend Sarah, find her blog here.. Didn’t she do such a fabulous job! Can’t wait to shoot with her again, thanks gal!) was such a success. I am so proud of myself for going out, with my hair down and not for once lifting my hand up to pull it. I can’t even tell you guys enough how much strength it took for me to do that. I do it both in the ‘I know I’m pulling I wish I could stop phase’ and ‘I’m watching TV, I’m out with friends I will automatically pull and not realise’ I was really aware the whole time of making myself, basically forcing myself not to pull. It was such a success as well because I had straightened my hair and I’m not sure if anyone else’s hair is the same as mine but when it’s had heat on it becomes coarse. Which is a massive massive trigger for me which starts me pulling. I knew there would be hairs like that and I didn’t even give Trich the time or the day. I can’t say the same for when I got home and watching TV because I caught myself doing it, but that was a massive, massive step for me. Massive. Let’s celebrate together!

Jacket – Zara sale (similar here)

Culottes – Zara sale (similar here)

Top – New Look (similar here)

Shoes – Primark (similar here)