Harveys hairdressers opens today (March 6th) on Silver Street in Doncaster. The new salon offers hair and beauty treatments and I met with manager Gemma find out more about what was on offer.
The hairdressers location was chosen because the building had previously been a salon that was very well regarded in Doncaster. Silver Street is on the brink of a huge regeneration project which Gemma hopes to capitalise on. The salon is a huge, bright space, crisply decorated. Behind the tiled end wall are private rooms for beauticians to work out of.
Downstairs is a small cellar space, that has been stripped back to reveal an incredible brick ceiling. While I got frankly over-excited by the decor, customers will appreciate the barber shop facilities.
All haircare products at Harveys are supplied by Kevin Murphy. This brand prides itself on being organic, with all ingredients responsibly sourced with minimal impact on the environment. Murphy describes his products as ‘skincare for the hair’, they are lightweight formulas containing natural ingredients.
Harveys’ relaxing setting is enhanced by a beautiful fish tank set into the main salon’s wall, something to watch while waiting for hair dye to set! A full introduction to Harveys’ stylists and beauty therapists can be found on their Instagram.
Visitors on Saturday, 9th March 2019, who stay till 5pm can enjoy the Harveys Launch Party. Everyone who attends will be entered in a raffle to win some fantastic prizes. Complimentary drinks, goodie bags, live music, demos and discounts are all available on the night.
I made my radio debut, along with my lovely Mum, on Monday 17th December 2018. The opportunity was completely unexpected and here is how it happened:
On Friday, the phone rang. It was a private number so I ignored it. Private numbers mean PPI or ‘our records show you have been involved in a car accident’. If it was important, they’d leave a message.
A few minutes later, a message was left. I listened. It was Rav Sanghera, a producer with BBC Radio Sheffield. He had found my blog on David and Donetta (now removed) about moving to Doncaster and thought I would be a good interviewee for the Monday show, which was about people migrating to South Yorkshire. I googled the details, and ascertained that Rav was a real person, with a real job. I rang back.
A book was being published about refugees who had moved to Sheffield. The radio station wanted to interview other people who had moved nearby, for less harrowing reasons. I had a chat with Rav about how great Doncaster was to live in, and mentioned that my parents moved with me. For those that don’t know, I have Crohn’s Disease and my parents take care of me when I have a relapse.
Rav was interested as to how they had found the move, especially as we are all from down south originally (although we had already moved to York, before Doncaster). I mentioned that my Mum had emigrated to Canada in her twenties, so Doncaster wasn’t such a big leap of faith. We agreed that Mum would be a great interviewee too, so we were both booked on the show.
I spent the weekend being utterly terrified. For about 4 years I have had really bad social anxiety. I used to absolutely love going to events and meeting new people, and now it fills me with dread. I was so glad that Mum was going with me, else I might have chickened out.
We made it to the studio and everyone was so friendly and welcoming. Rav and the presenter, Rony, are total sweethearts and made us both feel at home. It was just like having a chat in your living room. I managed to rep several awesome Doncaster businesses and not make a total prat out of myself during the section on dialect.
Hearing Mum’s story was really interesting. Even though I knew most of it, it turns out that she was in Canada for 9 years, which was double how long I thought she had spent there. I also didn’t realise that she and her husband (her first one, not my Dad) were totally on their own once they got there, and only had £100 in their pocket. Even in the 1960s, that wasn’t a lot of money! I definitely want to explore Mum’s experiences in greater detail, let me know in the comments below if you would like to know more as well.
You can listen to our interview from 1:09 at the following link (until approximately 16/01/2019):
Opulence, glamour, and sheer wish fulfilment are the ingredients that create Art of the Teese. Dita Von Teese’s burlesque show came to the London Palladium this year and I was lucky enough to see it on Monday, 12 November. For me, this show has been over a decade in the making. I first discovered Dita Von Teese while I was at my undergrad university, having a horrible time. Immersing myself in Dita’s Swarovski coated fantasy world was a kind of therapy. Years later, this therapy had its final, glorious session and we can pronounce this patient cured of at least some of her sadness.
Dita performs four acts, each one more sparkling than the last. Her instagram has some wonderful closeups of her costumes, but seeing them in the flesh, so to speak, is on another level. Thousands of crystals adorn every bit of the fabric, and at one point I wondered if electric lights had been sewn in as well, because I have never seen such fire and shimmer.
On the subject of flesh, yes, there is quite a bit on display, this is a strip show after all. But nipples and genitals are hidden away under even more sparkles, and the way parts of the body aren’t displayed is just as clever as the way parts are. Special mention here to the only solo male stripper (let’s not leave out the VonTourage), Jett Adore, whose Zorro inspired routine managed to be both hilarious and truly teasing. I’m not one for seeing penises waving about on stage, so I was a bit concerned during this act, but everything is kept, if not quite PG, then certainly not something that would give Granny a heart attack.
In fact, crudity is largely absent in Dita’s show. All the performers have signed some sort of glamour pledge, meaning the show celebrates the beauty of the female form. Yes, compère Jonny McGovern does encourage you to ogle, but also to remember how strong and confident these women are. McGovern serves as the leader of a feminist pep rally, managing to boost all the women in the audience without alienating the men.
Onto the acts themselves, and I’m sorry there aren’t photos but Dita strictly forbids them. Again, check out her instagram to get an idea of what to expect. What I can tell you is that none of the acts disappoint. Ginger Valentine had the hard task of following Dita, the audience was slow to respond but soon warmed up to her incredible splits, while balanced on a metal heart. I quickly realised I am not flexible enough to take up burlesque.
For the others, Zelia Rose brings Josephine Baker to life, while Gia Genevieve had a working bathtub/shower combo on stage with her. If I’m honest, the Diana Dors-esque beauty was a little upstaged by her set. But everyone is momentarily forgotten when Dirty Martini arrives on stage. I love Dirty Martini, every inch of her, and that’s a fair amount of inches to love. I’m not being cruel, Dirty lives for her plus-size power. Her strip was as exquisite as I’d been expecting, but her nipple tassel prowess was next level. Dirty takes part in a series of faster and wilder challenges and honestly, I had a word with my boobs after the show for being lazy. Tassel twirling can only be described as acrobatic and I think the Olympics is missing out not having it as a sport.
Back to Dita, and having seen her perform while lip-synching, then while on-pointe in a ballet, then while riding a mechanical bull, I think we can safely say that she deserves her crown as Queen of Burlesque. The control in her body and her timing is something else. Every movement adds to the story, even tiny hand gestures. And everything is glamorous and sexy, not sleazy. Dita Von Teese was well worth waiting over ten years for, and there is no one who embodies the Art of the Teese quite like she does.
Hello! My name is Vicky Prior, and this is my writing portfolio. It’s also a way to find out more about me It gives me an opportunity to highlight things I care about and fun stuff I do.
But….I haven’t really been doing this. In fact, I got so obsessed with working out what I should write, for an audience of potential clients I know nothing about, that I forgot:
This is supposed to be fun!
So, I’m turning the blog side of Prior Portfolio into a lifestyle blog. Now I’m not saying that I’m the most interesting person, or that I lead the most exciting life, but I do get up to some pretty cool stuff, so hopefully you will all enjoy reading about it.
There’s going to be a lot more food (yes, I promise to go to Dreambakes a lot) and a crazy amount of sewing and knitting, but I’ll also try and get my bum out of the house and show you some of the amazing places in Doncaster and the surrounding area. I expect my adorable parents will pop up too.
I hope you enjoy the new content. Let me know what you want to see more of in the comments below, or get in touch via social media.
This is a guest post by California law firm Hogan Injury, telling us from a legal perspective what we need to know about the dreaded GDPR! It previously appeared on their site.
Considered the most important development in data privacy regulation in two decades, the General Data Protection Regulation or GPDR has taken effect on May 25, 2018. The regulation was up for debate for four years before it was approved in 2016, with the enforcement date set this year. This means that organizations who failed to comply within two years may face heavy fines.
What exactly is the GDPR?
The GDPR is a rule passed by the European Union that standardizes data protection laws across all 28 EU countries. It imposes stricter rules on controlling and processing personally identifiable information (PII) and extends the protection of EU residents’ personal data and data protection rights. Moreover, the implementation of these stricter rules can potentially address issues with invasion of privacy and identity theft. The GDPR replaces the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive.
The new rule sets a higher standard in obtaining personal data from the consumer. Usually, when a company acquires personal data from an EU consumer, it needs informed and clear consent from the user. Consumers must also be able to revoke that consent and request for the data the company has from them in order to authenticate the consent. GDPR has stricter and stronger rules for collecting and sharing data, which also means that they will be required to revise how ads are targeted online. In storing and processing data, GDPR may also require the use of encryption, data backups, passwords, and malware protection.
Moreover, the penalties set for violations are higher. The maximum fines for violations are currently set at 4% of the company’s global revenue or $20 million, whichever is higher. This will clearly motivate companies to comply and revise their policies on data collecting and sharing.
Why the need for the GDPR?
Consumers have taken advantage of the “free” services from Google, Facebook, and Twitter among others in exchange of giving away personal information such as email addresses, sexual orientation, and political leanings. However, users find it hard to understand what exactly they are consenting to give these tech companies when they agree on the confusing and elaborate terms and conditions. One perfect scenario that would justify the need for stricter regulations on consumer data collection is Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal. Political data firm Cambridge Analytica allegedly acquired the data of 50 million Facebook users and sold the data to US politicians vying for election in 2016, in order to influence their votes.
In the US, a data privacy protection for sensitive patient data has been in place. It is called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA. Similarly, the HIPAA Privacy Rule oversees accessing, saving, and sharing of medical and personal information of any individual.
How are the big tech companies doing?
Earlier this year, big tech companies have taken steps in compliance to the GDPR. Google, for example, has started letting users choose which data they want to share with Gmail and Google Docs, among its other products. Facebook has started complying, as well, by rolling out a single page called the global privacy center that would let users organize who sees their posts and what types of ads they see. Amazon also began enhancing their data encryption on its cloud storage and made their terms of agreement simpler.
What does it mean for the US consumer?
As the GDPR is a mandate given to countries of the European Union, it only applies to EU countries, technically speaking. However, with the global nature of the Internet, this means that every online channel and service is affected by the new rule; and therefore US consumers will be greatly affected as the big tech companies start to adapt.
None of the content on Hoganinjury.com and therefore Prior Portfolio, is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.
Next up in my series of reviews for the LEGO Creator Expert range, I’m tackling the LEGO Brick Bank. I have previously reviewed Assembly Square and the Parisian Restaurant. The Brick Bank has a dual function, as it might be enabling me to ‘bank’ for my future.
Now I couldn’t bear to part with these kits or to not even open the box in the first place, but those that have more self-restraint have earned a tidy profit. This is not a guaranteed money spinner, as with any type of antique collecting, but retired models in the LEGO Creator Expert range have sold for 2 or 3 times their original value. If a set is rare enough, I think you could recoup your spend even on a model that had been built. As we know, that isn’t my motivation for buying them, but I thought it worth mentioning, especially as today’s build has a financial theme.
What I love about the LEGO modular builds are their intricate, technical builds, like the underside of the bank roof, and their humorous details, such as the frog below. I have no idea why there is a frog on the roof. I thought it might be a tribute to a designer’s favourite animal, but I can find no details on this. Either way, he livens up the winch, currently being used to help the launderette sign, but which also serves a more nefarious purpose.
LEGO kits are great for the imagination, but to help you along, Brick Bank has a secret storyline. The seemingly innocuous photographer is actually *gasp* a bank robber. Having hidden her disguise on the roof, she uses the winch from the rope to lower herself down into the bank vault via the chimney. In no small feat of engineering, it is actually possible to drop the figure down through the completed building, then remove the top floor to find her safely in the locked vault. You cannot imagine how much fun myself and my parents had ‘testing’ this feature.
Here is a shot of our robber doing a test run before the roof was put on. Despite the hot fire on the other side, she slipped down the chimney like a Father Christmas in training. The bank manager is totally oblivious, although I would be too if I had that grand red and gold stamper to play with. He also has a pet parrot, which I’ve managed to cut out of this photo, but provides a nice link to the florist in Assembly Square. In his drawer he has a love letter, perhaps it is from her?
Now you might be wondering why there is a launderette tucked into the back of this rather grand old brick bank. Well it’s not so all the LEGO people can wash their clothes. If you look carefully, you will see that the top right machine is out of order. It has a false back and if you post money through it (or diamonds, both of which are generously supplied) then it ends up in the safes in the vault. This is, of course, money laundering. Feel free to groan at the pun, but it’s a neat feature.
As the machine unit fits into the vault, on the back is a coin counting machine. Adorably, it actually does stack the shiny coins (and the spares that I couldn’t fit in went in Assembly Square’s fountain for luck). This is not a playset for fat fingers, the vault door is simple but very effective and there’s a lot crammed in a small space. There is also some beautiful architecture, rivalling the restaurant I think. The stained glass windows are a particular highlight, although as they are made by a billion stacks of 1 by 1 pieces, they are also a literal pain. I had to soak my fingers after assembling the panels! But the pain was worth it.
With the Brick Bank being a floor shorter than the others, you might think this was a smaller or less detailed build. But while it is shorter when the buildings are lined up, the footplate is packed with fancy tiling, window treatments, an insane skylight and a beautiful chandelier. There are plenty of story opportunities, even if you ignored the criminal activity. Best yet, for collectors at least, this is one of the corner buildings, so it finishes the end of the road nicely. Next time, I’ll be delving further into the criminal underworld of LEGO with the Detective’s Office.
I thought it would be nice to show you behind the scenes at Prior Portfolio HQ. So today we’re going to take a tour of some of my favourite bits of my office.
As I work from home, it’s really important to me that my office is a comfortable and comforting environment. I surround myself with inspiring objects and art to keep myself motivated. Sometimes these objects help me come up with ideas, and sometimes they just cheer me up if I’m having a tiring day. I thoroughly recommend, for example, that everyone gets novelty push pins for their notice board. My swarm of busy bees are always ready to work for their Queen!
The bee pins are a lovely bright yellow, and I’ve echoed this jollity in my armchair. All writers require a reading nook, so while my desk chair is a functional and utterly boring faux leather number, my comfy chair is a glorious squishy buttercup. If you squint it rather resembles a Minion, with its rounded edges and in-your-face all-yellow. The chair recently got treated to a cushion, not just so I can be extra snuggly, but also to add even more colour. I picked up this wonderful seaside fabric in Whitby, North Yorkshire, which is one of my favourite places on Earth. While the seafront at Whitby is very different to the charming scene depicted on the fabric, I love how busy my seaside cushion is. I imagine all the people going into the shops and cafes, larking about on the beach and relaxing in the huts. I’m sure I’ll get a few short stories out of this cushion.
The desk itself has been featured on Prior Portfolio before, in fact, my beloved Brenda (you have to know that me naming a desk is not weird, it’s absolutely standard Vicky Prior behaviour), is so important she is on the homepage. Brenda the Bureau was found in a shop in York, where I used to live and beautifully restored by my Dad. She is guarded by Buddy, a Gnome in shining armour, who got his name because he is rather Buddha-like. Buddy recently got himself a friend, in the form of Harold Best. Now you might wonder why I have a cardboard cutout of a random man from a National Railway Museum exhibition. The truth is, Harold Best is a character from the exhibition, but he was played by my lovely Dad. The chance to own a foot-high version of my father was too much to resist, and the museum kindly gave it to me when the exhibition ended. Dad watches me from his cardboard perch and makes sure I don’t procrastinate too much.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my office and it has given you a glimpse into my working practice/my odd brain. If you’d like to make sure I get to spend more time with Brenda, Harold and Buddy, then you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to have a chat about hiring me.
I’m going to let you on a secret. Playing computer games can actually improve your productivity. Well-earned rest breaks are a key component of a healthy work-day, and by choosing downtime activities that enhance your work, your productivity will skyrocket. My top tip? Play The Sims 4.
Ok, so I know games like The Sims 4 are notorious time-sucks but bear with me here. First up, and it’s an obvious one, time your playing. A good half-hour or an hour of gaming is a great way to rest, you aren’t spending longer than you would be watching an episode of your fave TV show, but you’ve immersed yourself in something that isn’t your work.
The Sims 4 is a life simulation game. You create a Sim, which could look just like you or be totally different. You then guide them through their life, buying and decorating houses, getting a job, making friends and getting married. New expansions mean your Sim can move to the City, vacation in the jungle, and fill their house with adorable pets. Your Sim could also turn into a vampire, have a skeleton servant and converse with the Grim Reaper, so it’s not all realistic, but then for some of us owning a beautiful 3 storey home with views overlooking the bay is a pipe dream, so what’s a little vampire sparring compared to that?
The point is that in order to succeed at The Sims, you have to plan. Time management is really important. Especially if you’ve achieved a big house, even going to the toilet can take an hour in the game (minutes tend to pass more like seconds, and there are ultra-speed modes). Your Sim will get hungry, lonely and bored. You have to fulfil all these needs in order to get good promotions, as well as completing job-specific tasks, like levelling up skills or making friends. This teaches you about work-life balance. If you can achieve a good balance for your Sim, there is no reason why you can’t do the same for your own life.
Before I start playing, I review where I got to with life goals, job promotions and relationships and plan what my Sim should focus on that day. I carefully allot time for socialising and learning skills, while sticking to the framework the game gives me for the Sim’s working hours and checking on the Sim’s hygiene and hunger levels. This is exactly the same as how I manage my own day. Have I left enough time for a nutritious lunch while still doing all my writing tasks? Can I go out today, or do I need to stay in and learn something new? Am I lonely, and need to be around people, or could I burrow down in the office and clear my to-do list?
Humans don’t come with a handy green plumbob above their head, that goes red when something is wrong. I have to learn to listen to my own needs. But by paying attention to what my body needs and cross-referencing that with my work goals, both daily and lifetime, I can get things done. Many players of The Sims 4 have said how nice it is to feel in control of someone’s life, in a way they might not manage with their own. I took that further and decided to apply the structure of The Sims to my own life, in order to gain control. Just remember to set a timer before playing, The Sims 4 is very addictive once you start!
As promised in my last LEGO review of Assembly Square, this month we continue my new-found addiction with a look at the sumptuous LEGO Parisian Restaurant. Let’s dive straight into this intricate build.
I already have a patisserie in Assembly Square, so popping a restaurant next door seemed like a good move. In my head, the chefs are brothers with a friendly rivalry. The restaurant chef is called Albert, I know this because LEGO kindly included a sign with the restaurant. I also have an enormous croissant, which is possibly my only complaint with this build, the food is a little out of proportion. See into the kitchen in the photo below, where that lovely turkey has been perfectly cooked, but not in that oven. Although I was delighted to see LEGO’s usual attention to detail as each drumstick pulls off. Note also the intricacy of the tiled floor, and the stack of dishes by the sink. It’s all these little details that make these builds a joy, and the LEGO Parisian Restaurant does not lack joy.
So packed is it, in fact, that some of the details become obscured. Here is a shot of the outside seating area, with the word ‘CHEZ’ carefully picked out. Unfortunately, this then gets hidden under the seats and the table with the enormous croissant. I suppose some builders might enjoy having secret bits to themselves.
There is a second seating area, up a staircase from the front that converts to a side patio, overlooked by a stunning chimney. The chimney is a slow build, one lot of bricks per page of the manual, but the finished effect is superb. It also matters not a jot to the overall playability or structure of the restaurant, which is what I love about LEGO, they pop in bits just because they can. This next photo also gives you an idea of the roof, which is a feat of engineering. I have no idea how they come up with these ways to fit lumps of plastic together. Not only does this roof curve, it also includes windows and *can be pulled down* to reveal an artist’s studio.
That all of this can be done without the LEGO feeling like it is going to snap or fall off is excellent. I sometimes think my LEGO buildings are sturdier than my actual house!
All that chimney is for a lovely kiln, despite our artist not being a potter. She is a dab hand at Piet Mondrian style paintings, a double bonus for me as alongside being a clear fit for LEGO’s style, he happens to be my favourite painter. With Paris being one of my favourite and most-visited places, and with me being a huge fan of dining out, it’s like this kit was invented just for me. In fact, the LEGO Parisian Restaurant was the first in the series that I saw, several years ago in an official LEGO shop. To have it sat on the table in front of me now is an odd sensation.
The middle floor of this three-storey build is given over a studio flat. The poor chap that lives here doesn’t have a loo, so I suppose he’ll have to make friends with the single mum next door at Assembly Square and use hers. He does have a great pull-down bed though, architects would do well to take notes from LEGO in how to build space saving homes.
Not that building LEGO saves any space in my home, we’ve had to create a special surface for my new street. Next month, I’ll give you a tour of LEGO Creator Expert Brick Bank, but if you want sneak previews, be sure to check out Instagram where I showcase my builds.
Rejoice, lovely readers, for we have made it to the fourth and final week of our GDPR training. Just in case you’ve been cut off from society, the GDPR is the EU’s new rules for data protection and it is very important that all businesses comply. Even if/when Brexit happens, the UK still needs to be compliant with the GDPR if they have clients in EU member states. For more information on the regulations, please read Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3.
This week is all about the bodies that ensure compliance with the GDPR, and the penalties they can dish out if you don’t comply. First up, national supervisory authorities monitor data processing activities, refer non-compliance for judicial review, and allow data subjects a means of complaint.
The national supervisory authority can give an organisation certification to prove they are GDPR compliant. This certification lasts for three years.
A national supervisory authority can only monitor processing that takes place in its geographic territory, or that concerns subjects residing in its geographic territory. If a border dispute occurs, the case is referred to the lead supervisory authority or LSA.
National supervisory authorities can impose liabilities for non-compliance with GDPR. Subject entitled to compensation if a company has misused their data. Controllers are liable for all damages, while processors are only liable if they did not comply with their own obligation or if they acted against the controller’s instructions.
The European Data Protection Board (referred to as ‘The Board’) is made up of the head of each national supervisory authority, plus representatives from the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS). The EDPS has restricted voting rights, and a representative from the European Commission is allowed to attend meetings but cannot vote. The Board’s role is to ensure GDPR compliance, while also ensuring cooperation between national supervisory authorities and checking on international compliance. The Board can issue EU-wide directives on particular cases so to ensure consistency, the LSA also helps with this.
A code of conduct should be written and made available to all data subjects, detailing how your organisation will comply with the GDPR. You should include how data will be collected, how subject rights can be exercised, and how you will notify subjects and authorities of a data breach. Submit your code to the national supervisory authority for approval.
Finally, big companies will use Binding Corporate Rules (BCR), which are rules adopted by a group of multinational companies. They require approval of the national supervisory authority. They cover the transfer of data between companies in the group across geological boundaries. You do not need approval from the national supervisory authority to transfer data outside of the EU as long as it adheres to standard contractual data clauses. The country the data is being transferred to must have adequate data protection laws, unless the controller can provide the appropriate safeguards, such as BCRs or standard contractual clauses.
And that’s it. You now know everything I do about GDPR, how to implement it and how not to fall foul of its laws. All of my information comes from my studies on this free course, provided by the University of Groningen, which I would thoroughly recommend taking part in.