Author: Wafuku - the Japanese kimono comes west

I am a collector of vintage and antique wafuku (traditional Japanese clothing) such as kimonos, haori kimono jackets, obis, Japanese footwear etc. I have fed this addiction to these incredible pieces of wearable textile art and sumptuous silks for many years. I hope you enjoy my blog.

Birthday Cakes and Surgery

wafuku blog aug 12 logo A

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

 

A few days ago I had my gallbladder removed. I was fortunate enough to have it successfully done by laparoscopic surgery. The ability of that being done and the skill of the surgeon doing it really astounds me. I really must write a thank you letter to the surgeon and to the anaesthetist.

The symptoms of the gallstones I had me howling, wailing and begging for relief, usually for 20 to 45 minutes at a time. It is great to know that, if the surgeon managed to remove all the stones, I will have no more of those excruciating attacks. I don’t seem to be recovering as quickly as expected but I daresay it will pick up a pace.

Here are some diagrams that show the gallbladder and likely positions of stones and how they are removed via laparoscopy.

picture from health.harvard.edu

picture from health.harvard.edu

picture from surgspecswfl.com


Some of my Japanese items were borrowed by Vogue magazine for a photo shoot in their Polish edition. They took them all the way to Japan for the shoot. Here are some of them…

Chanel leather jacket worn with a Nagoya obi from wafuku.co.uk

 

Cotton spotted tabi with traditional kohaze fasteners

A golden chrysanthemum adorned Nagoya obi, from wafuku.co.uk, worn with Jil Sander knitwear


 

It was my only grandchild’s first birthday in July and my daughter’s birthday shortly after, so I baked them birthday cakes. I saw cakes by thecakeandsweet on Instagram that I really loved, so pretty much copied those, although I covered mine in buttercream rather than in the fondant icing the professional had used. I decided to make them using my favourite recipe, a very reliable lemon drizzle cake. The cake is only 6 inches in diameter but, being three layers high, gives 12 to 14 slices.

This is the first one I did.

I put the gum paste icing decorations in the oven to speed up drying, as it was too humid to dry them naturally, but I got them a touch too warm and the hedgehogs, balloon and number 1 puffed a little but I wasn’t too bothered by that. I made Italian meringue buttercream to layer and coat the cake because I find American buttercream unbearably sweet, but it is impossible to make it white. I can never work out how Americans get meringue buttercream so very white. Do they have white butter? I can’t find even pale yellow butter here in the UK, it is all pretty strongly yellow and yields this cream colour of buttercream at best. \i actually shaded this cake from green up to the untinted cream colour but should have started at the bottom with darker green, the shading is too subtle to show much. I was quite happy with the colour for this cake but I would like to have the option of white for other cakes.

My grandson didn’t actually get to eat any of the cake, as he is not yet allowed any sugar or salt, but it was for a family party to celebrate his birthday and it all got eaten.

This next picture shows the one I made my daughter, who is a massive fan of the Peanuts cartoon characters, as am I.

I have no idea how but I totally miscalculated the sizes for Charlie, Linus and for Snoopy and his kennel, all of which I made before the cake. I managed to make those things twice the size I should have. Charlie and Linus should only be tall enough to reach the top edge of the cake, with the kennel and Snoopy suitably proportioned.

For some reason I had problems with the buttercream for this one. I mixed up each colour (the blue ending up too dark because I was trying to combat the fact that the buttercream’s yellowness made it rather green) then put it in icing bags and stored it in the fridge. The following day I let them soften in the warmth if the kitchen then piped them all around the cake. I’d applied it all, ready to be smoothed out, when I noticed some of the food colouring had separated, producing water droplets all over it. I had to try to mix it back together while still on the cake, which wasn’t altogether successful, so it subsequently didn’t smooth as well as I hoped. It still tasted fine but it was annoying because the buttercream on my grandson’s cake had led me to believe this cake’s coating would pose no problems and work out equally well. It didn’t.

The Snoopy kennel was blondie brownies stacked and cut to shape, then coated in rolled icing, with icing roof panels made separately, hardened and then attached. After that, the icing Snoopy was modelled and popped on the top. Charlie and Linus were just 2D and painted with food colouring.

Despite the appearance of the buttercream and the ridiculous size of the decorations on the cake, my daughter really loved it, so it was worth the effort.

Apart from a mirror glaze cake I made a couple of years ago, I think this is the first time I’ve tried making decorated cakes, so they could have been much worse.


 

This is a ro weave silk kimono, stencilled with a slightly sparkly golden moon. I recently put this on the wafuku.co.uk website. Wouldn’t it be great for Halloween? However, in my opinion, it is great for wearing anytime.


I have been slowly but steadily stocking the new website. It seems to be working fine, although is slower to load the home page than I would like.

Other than that I am fairly happy with it. It now supports secure payment by bank cards as well as by PayPal and, so far, each method has been used equally, so I’m glad I am now able to offer payment options.

I still have so much stock from the previous site to put on the new one, I now realise what a vast amount I had available on that original version of the site, thousands and thousands of items, and it is a bit frustrating to not be able to add just new items but be having to redo ones I’d previously already done. I have an astounding amount of new things for the site too and am gnashing at the bit wanting to add more of those. I do add the occasional new thing, though, such as that stencilled kimono above. The web host (Wix) requires photos to be square in shape, in order to display them properly, and virtually none of my photos is square, so every one of the thousands of stock photos needs to be altered, making it a very, very slow process and it would have been great and a zillion times faster if I could have just used them as is, without spending time changing each one.

Here are a few pictures of some of the things I’ve added to the site since my last blog post. That post was ages ago because all my time is spent working on the site, trying to get all the stock back on it, plus regularly posting to social media, which is essential to ensure my site is ranked by Google when people search for kimono, haori, obi etc. This blog tends to drop to the bottom of the to do list.

Here’s a very elegant, black silk haori, with golden urushi coated silk thread creating the woven design.

A sumptuous silk kimono, with a gorgeous take on a diamond design.

An absolutely stunning, very long, pure silk, 1920s haori kimono jacket, with tree peonies and stripes. The upper lining has little flowers and haori are so beautifully made, with seams hidden even on the inside, that they can be reversible, so you can even wear it the other way to show off that beautiful silk lining.

When you photograph stripes you often get a moiré effect in the photo but, rather amusingly, this haori kimono jacket is actually cleverly printed with that moiré effect among the stripes as part of the pattern.

 

Here’s one last piece for now, the cream of the crop. I really love the colouring in the flowers on this kimono’s delicate shade of cream silk.

This and the garments I posted above are available at http://www.wafuku.co.uk

 


You can check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing a wonderful range of vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables. Discover the joy of wearable textile art.

 


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress,by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

 

#kimono #kimonos #vintageclothes #vintageclothing #vintage #haori #wafuku #hyperjapan #kimonodejack #wafuku

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So Much To Do, So Little Time

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

 

I continue to work on my new www.wafuku.co.uk website but am still transferring all the stock from the old site to the new one. I really did have a vast selection of stock on my site and I am having to adjust every photo to be able to display it on my new site (all need to be square and many need adjusted because the colour or clarity was off). Still, I just keep doing a little at a time and the new site is already well stocked, even though there is a vast amount of things still to go onto it.

Having an ecommerce site also means one has to do an awful lot of social media posting if the site is to appear in Google without being lost way, way back in their search results. The loss of all my site’s photos a while back created thousands of broken links on the site which made Google shunt it way down deep in the search results and I never did manage to replace every photo and clear those damaging broken links but the new incarnation of my wafuku.co.uk website has no broken links, so I have started the long, slow task of trying to raise it from the depths of Google to gradually rank higher in the search pages and hopefully get it back to the high position it had in them before the photos problem developed and hit it hard.  This means that, along with everything else, I am so busy that I just can’t do everything I feel I need or want to be doing, so this is why it I don’t manage to add posts to this blog very often, but I’d really like to do it more. I am pleased to have found time tonight to finally add this one.


I’ve been watching an Amazon tv show about Japan and it is full of interesting information. For example, I learned that Kokichi Mikimoto was the first to develop cultured pearls, back in 1893 and, at the Paris Exposition 1937, a piece from Japan, the Yaguruma sash clip, was the sensation of the Expo. It had 41 cultured pearls among all its jewels and it could be disassembled and reconfigured into separate pieces. You can see it in the picture below. Isn’t it magnificent and a wonderful feat of design?


 

This wonderful piece below is a large rug. I’ve just been learning about the designer, Kiyoyuki (Ken) Okuyama, who also designed, among other things, the Enzo Ferarri and a Japanese Bullet Train, both vehicles designed purely based on aerodynamics, every part of those two designs based on that, rather than on aesthetics, yet producing vehicles that are actually very beautiful. This carpet, however, is a fantastic piece of purely aesthetic design, neatly tricking the eye into seeing rolling water. One for the wall as much as the floor.


 

These cat themed hanhaba obi are among the most recent items I have added to my website. I rather love these kitteh obi.

Starburst and cats. I have this in purple too, which I’ll add to the website in a few days.

These next ones have whole crowds of cats. The website also has this in a few other colours.

 

 

In the following one, the designer has played with the popular, traditional Japanese motif of hexagons (representing the turtle/tortoise, a symbol of longevity), transforming it into cats. A contemporary twist on a traditional motif.

 

 

Finally a very sneaky cat indeed, a cat amongst the hounds-tooth. Another contemporary, catty twist on a traditional motif.

All these obi are reversible, with very different designs on the reverse. This houndstooth one has an opposite side of plain green with paying card suits in the weave.

Now, if you want your hanhaba obi’s animal feature to, instead, be in the form of a cute animal musubi (obi knot), check out Kawarashiya’s YouTube channel, which has instruction videos for lots of fun ways to tie a hanhaba obi. Here you see the bear, elephant, rabbit, pig (in sunglasses) and mouse. I especially like the mouse.
Check it out here… https://www.youtube.com/user/ayou1226/videos


 

I thought I’d show you this picture because I love these bamboo basket weave stools in this Japanese cafe.


 

Isn’t this samurai suit of armour magnificent? Not only designed to protect the samurai during battle but also to induce fear in the opponent and, as the likelihood of death in battle was high, the samurai also wanted to look good in death and a suit of exquisite, opulent armour like this would certainly ensure that.


 

Here is a rather delightful, vintage photo of a woman in kimono, in around 1930s, relaxing with a book (found via @mariaria on Instagram), which made me think of the postcard below it, called “Genroku Beauty”, from 1907 and by Ichijô Narumi.

 

I think I’ll now slip into my nightdress and kimono and will also relax with a book for what little is left of this evening.

 


You can check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing a wonderful range of vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress,by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

 

#kimono #kimonos #vintageclothes #vintageclothing #vintage #haori #wafuku #hyperjapan #kimonodejack #wafuku

Happy Easter!

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

 

HAPPY EASTER! 

tabi bunny ears picture

I hope it is as sunny where you are as it is here in www.wafuku.co.uk‘s part of Scotland today and that you are enjoying your Easter weekend.


You can check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing a wonderful range of vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress,by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

 

#kimono #kimonos #vintageclothes #vintageclothing #vintage #haori #wafuku #hyperjapan #kimonodejack #wafuku

Tweaks and Changes – Improving The New Website

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

 

I’ve been tweaking my new www.wafuku.co.uk website.

I was driven mad by the lack of menu-with-sub-menu options offered by my new site provider but I have just discovered Filters that allow me to put a sort of menu on main product pages, so that the main menu doesn’t need to have every single category and sub category on it, which had made it ridiculously long.

Now, for example, the main menu has the category Women on it, when you got to that Women page you see a menu of garment types to select from, so you can filter all the women’s clothes down to just a specific type. Also, if you choose Women/Kimono, which displays all of the women’s kimonos, there is now a list there of kimono pages (just 3 at the moment but there will be 12 or more, as I have hundreds more kimonos to put on the site) because. Each Women’s Kimono Page will have 40 kimonos on it (you see 12, then click the See More button at the bottom, so 2 clicks of that lets you see all 40; it won’t let me set it to all 40 at once). With about 600 women’s kimonos alone on the site, once I’ve had a chance to put all the stock on, it was going to be a nightmare to scroll all the way to the end of them on the page with all the kimonos on it, so this method of putting filters on main pages makes life easier for people browsing the site.

I am sure there will be lots of tweaks here and there in the forthcoming weeks. I’ll get back to adding lots more stock after the weekend. The more things I add, the more categories will be filled up too, at the moment some categories have no stock in them yet, so those categories don’t show up until they do.


You can check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing a wonderful range of vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress,by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

 

#kimono #kimonos #vintageclothes #vintageclothing #vintage #haori #wafuku #hyperjapan #kimonodejack #wafuku

It’s Live! The New Wafuku.co.uk Website Is Now Online.

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

 

The new www.wafuku.co.uk website is now live. It is up and running and ready to browse, with a new look, additional payment methods and mobile phone friendly too. This one is also GDPR compliant, which is a relief, as I simply didn’t know how, on my previous site, to provide the essential pop up required for that, so having that done is a weight off my mind.

Fingers crossed that it all works ok. It should but only time will tell. The original site served me well for a very long time and I am a touch sad to see it go but it is pleasing to have a fresh new look.

I’ve still got hundreds of stock items to add to it but I’ll just keep working on it steadily.

If you love vintage kimonos and other fabulous Japanese clothing and collectables, check out the new version of the website at http://www.wafuku.co.uk.


 

You can check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing a wonderful range of vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

 

#kimono #kimonos #vintageclothes #vintageclothing #vintage #haori #wafuku #hyperjapan #kimonodejack #wafuku

New Website Coming Any Day Now

wafuku blog aug 12 logo A

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

A new wafuku.co.uk website is coming any day now. A new wafuku.co.uk website is coming any day now. From today, the original website is gone. I’ve been working on a new website and my current host has now shut down the original site but BT, with whom my domain is registered, is being hideously slow at connecting the domain name to the new site. I’d hoped it would stay online until the switch over was done but time ran out and I would have had to pay for another year with my current web host to keep it online until the new one had the wafuku.co.uk domain transferred to it, so, for now, my site is completely offline. Hopefully it will go live within a few days.

The new site will be GDPR compliant, mobile phone friendly and, hopefully, offer additional payment options other than just PayPal. The two things I am not happy with on the new site are photos having to be square (so I am having to make square thousands and thousands of photos), and the menu having to be across the top, rather than a left side menu, because that site provider doesn’t have a side menu with drop sub-menus, only a top menu offers drop sub-menus, so I am stuck with having it at the top, as sub-menus are crucial on my site.

The original site had many photos missing since the Photobucket debacle, although I had managed to replace thousands of them, I just hadn’t managed to restore them all, there were, after all, tens of thousands of photos on it. The broken links to photos meant my site dropped drastically in Google’s search results, so starting again from scratch means that it shouldn’t have photo gaps and broken links to them; with each item I transfer to the new site, I ensure its photos are uploaded too.

I have so much stock to transfer to it from my original site that it will take a lot more time to complete the transfer. I continuously built and stocked the original site over 13 years, so there has been a lot to redo on the new one. The new one will still have all my kimono information pages and its large glossary and I have so far got about 800 stock items transferred to it and will keep steadily transferring the rest, then, after a short break from it, will start adding some new items too.

As the weather improves I hope to be able to photograph some stock outside, as I have no decent lighting indoors. Scotland has so much rain, though, that it limits outdoor photography time and my photography skills are not great at the best of times. I try, when possible, to re-use photos I got from the Japanese suppliers when selecting the stock, as theirs are often better than mine and are already done, but, unfortunately, I can’t do that for all my items. It is useful when I can, since it speeds up the addition of new items, allowing me to add more than I could by just photographing them all myself, because I only have to crop and colour correct their the photos instead of setting them up and taking them too.

I hope you will be patient and keep checking for the new site being available online.


 

You can check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing a wonderful range of vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

The End Of A Long Hot Summer

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

The good summer weather was very unusually long and hot here in Scotland this year. Normally it is driech for most of the summer months here and I am usually slightly jealous of family in London having lovely summers while I look out at rain and strong winds but this year it was fabulous here and my poor family had it much too hot in London.  It’s back to plenty of rain and wind here now but still fairly mild in temperature and yesterday was dry and still enough for some hot air balloons to drift by. Some summers they float over my home but the breeze up high wasn’t bringing them this way, so I only caught sight of one, when I heard one flare up its burners and realised there must be one about. By the time I spotted it by heading down the road a bit, this was all I saw.

distant hot air balloon


I got very lax at replacing the thousands of missing photos from my website after the photo host decided to block them all. I started well but it got daunting and I pretty much stopped after a few months but broken links are not good on a site, for people browsing or for having Google show it in searches, as Google doesn’t like broken links, so I am back to making a concerted effort again. It takes ages because I also realised that I couldn’t just move them and upload them all again, many of the photos were really awful, I don’t know why I hadn’t realised how bad many of them were, so I am having to check all and colour correct and brighten most before putting them back and that is what is taking so much time and work. Still, it must be done, so I have to plod on with it. It is good to get a thorough look at my site stock, as I work on it. Yesterday I worked on the obi section, got a few hundred photos fixed and replaced there, including all the soft, heko obis like these…


I now offer Layaway on the website, so items can be purchased in instalments. A lot of websites I buy from offer this option, so I thought it was time I did too…


Here are a few particularly nice kimonos from my site, with their photos now in place.

This is a girl’s kimono being worn by an adult. The adult is fairly petite in height, so on someone taller it would be shorter, but it lets you see how wearable these girls’ ones are for adults. My sister wears this size as a fancy, light coat.
Children wear their kimonos with a big tuck stitched in place on the outside of each shoulder and a big fold up at the waist, so without these tucks they are surprisingly big and wearable by an adult. Children’s ones come in much brighter colours than most adult ones and with fantastic designs on them. Most from the past few decades are made of good quality synthetic textiles, though some exceedingly expensive ones are still made in silk.


I love this dragon smoke kimono. whirls of smoke, with touches of gold detailing and embroidery.


How stunning is this blue houmongi kimono? Rich, sumptuous silk, with hand applied yuzen textile art of roses. Roses used to be thought very  exotic in Japan, as they were not native to that land, so were not commonly seen there.


 

You can check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing a wonderful range of vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Last Few Days

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

There are a few days left to grab yourself a beautiful, genuine Japanese kimono, haori kimono jacket or all manner of other Japanese garments and other Japanese things from my www.wafuku.co.uk  website because right now there is 15% of everything on the website but only for a few more days.

Kimonos

Hakama

Buddhist Items

Children’s garments for wear or display

and lots of lovely haori kimono jackets.

…15% off absolutely everything on wafuku.co.uk, not just the clothing, still available for the last few days of this month.

 


You can check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing a wonderful range of vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

The Family Has Grown

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Good Grief. I’m a grandmother. He’s such a cutie.
Name yet to be decided, they are trying out their 5 favourites on him over the next week or so. I call him Bumpy, for now, which I have done since he was just a growing bump in his mum.


You can check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing a wonderful range of vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Grab A Beautiful Bargain -15% Sale on wafuku.co.uk

wafuku blog aug 12 logo A

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Now is a great time to grab yourself a beautiful, genuine Japanese kimono, haori or all manner of other Japanese garments and many other things from my www.wafuku.co.uk  website because right now there is 15% of everything on the website.

Womens’, Men’s and Children’s kimonos…

 

 

 

 


All types of footwear…

 

 

 

 

 


All obis…


All haori kimono jackets…


Bags…


Cozy jackets…


More kimonos

 

 

…and 15% off absolutely everything else on the wafuku.co.uk, not just the clothing.

 


You can check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing a wonderful range of vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it.