Monday, 30 May 2011

A Birthday Celebration and a Fruity View of my Wardrobe.

Time for another blog because it's pouring with rain which has put my hedge cutting plans on hold for yet another weekend. Seriously if I don't get the damn things pruned soon I'm not sure my shears will be up to the task Darn weather, though I will admit the garden does need the rain.

So yesterday was my brother's birthday. He was out to lunch with his in laws and my parents so we went over late afternoon to take his card and have a piece of cake. The plan was to stay for a couple of hours then head home for dinner and an X-Men film (we are trying to watch them all in order before we go to see First Class on Wednesday!)

 I'm not one for outfit posts as you know but I wanted to show off this cute knitted pompom dress which I bought earlier in the month. It had a hole in the side so I got it for £5 thankfully I was able to fix it. I love the shoulder detail on the sleeves and the pompoms.

Anyway it turns out the lunch had been awful so everyone was tucking in to cake and wine when we arrived. As I say the plan was to stay a couple of hours........I finally got to bed at 2.20am! Wine and conversation flowed, the music was loud and an ecclectic mix to say the least, with the theme of the night being The Rubettes - Sugar Baby Love of all things!
I spent nearly 2 hours chatting with Nephew Number One in his room. It's been a long time since I was in a teenage boy's room. It reminded me of Wednesday's episode of Desperate Houswives where Lynette and Renee are in the twins room and Renee says 'What IS that smell?'

Further to my Leopard Print wardrobe post I thought I would share a few of my fruit themed items. Again this is not all of them, just an overview so to speak.

This is my newest purchase from Red Herring it's kind of short for me so I have to wear it over leggings.
 This one I got on Ebay last year. I'm not usually one for strapless dresses but the price was too good to pass up and I can wear a cardigan over it.
This is my first ever cherry print dress. I bought it in America in the late 80's it's a real 1980's take on the 1950's!
 Another 1980's top I got on a trip to America.

Assorted tops in cherry and strawberry print.
 A vintage 1970's t-shirt.
 Strawberry Jumper.
 Assorted necklaces, earrings and a strawberry brooch.
 Socks and a scarf.

Finally sneakers!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Wind, Rain and Shopping.

Well that was a week I was happy to see the back of, from a work point of view anyway. There were developments and not good ones, just when you think it can't get any worse it surprises you by doing just that. Oy. Anyway a large plate of fishfingers and chips and much silliness helped to end friday on a more cheery note.
I did take myself out into town on friday lunchtime on the hunt for a black cardigan. I know EXACTLY what I want but can I find the damn thing? well of course not.
There was a sale in New look and I puchased the below tops for a fiver and socks for £2.
 I am literally going through socks like nobody's business at the moment, the joys of wearing steelies at work!
 Also my Avon order arrived. I love their kajalstick eyeliners, oh the necklace was from New Look too also £2
Yesterday I took myself into town for some Charity Shop shopping me time. I did pretty good :-)
 I found some things for my blog swap. Organised by the wonderous Lakota at Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping
I also found some things for me.

I just fell in love with this skirt simple as that. It falls just below the knee and with all the added fabric at the hemline it makes you want to flounce about so it swishes and swirls. In fact it makes me want to start doing the cancan the minute I put it on!
I have some victorian style brown knee high lace-up boots I know will look perfect with it.
Next up is this little turquiose jumper. I like boat necklines though I'm not so sure about 3/4 length sleeves. It looked like it had been stored screwed up in a ball it was so crumpled but I'm hoing a wash and press will sort that.

More jeans for work. They are by Red Herring so I know they will fit well.

An apron.I love the fabric it's sunny and bright and has little fruits on it. I loved the multi-coloured ric-rac too.
Whether I ever remember to wear it or not remains to be seen.
Finally a lovely brooch. Sorry for the bit of string I didn't take the tag off before I took the picture!

and an elephant, what else? As you can see I already have the very same creamer jug and he cost considerably more than £1.50!
Oh well I have owned and loved him for years now and I'm sure he's happy to have a companion.

Anyway today was going to be all about finally getting out into the garden and cutting the hedges,but as you can see it's blowing a hoolie out there at the moment.
It also looks like it is about to hammer down with rain again at any moment, so projects in the house I think. I still haven't finished un-chlidproofing the house if nothing else!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

On the Question of Children.

So yesterday Himself and I left our visitors sleeping and headed back to work after 2 days off and I have to say I was actually kind of glad to go back.
Despite what most zodiac character descriptions for Cancerians say, I am not a homebody who loves to have her house filled to bursting with children and guests.
I am an uncomfortable host, mostly I think this is because I am not a confident cook and my house always looks like an explosion in a thrift shop. It's not dirty but it is untidy and very, very full of 'stuff' Basically I feel embarassed and prefer people not to see it. 

Anyway whilst it was lovely to see family again, hand on heart, nephew number two at 18 months was hard work. The fact the poor wee chap was not 100% well and did cry/scream on the top of his lungs a LOT does factor into that but even so. On a side note, I supose that was a fitting return for the many unannounced pounding all night parties our neighbours have had. Though I did still feel guilty at 3am after he had been howling solidly for an hour, the walls are pretty thin!
It did leave me pondering over the whole 'children' question as I walked to work from the station.

I have never wanted to have children and have never hidden that fact. Many people immediatly assume this means I hate children and am without a maternal bone in my body. Not true. I adore my 2 nephews (except maybe when screaming!) and including them I am a proud godmother to 5 children. I love to play with friends kids and I am often first in line to have a cuddle when someone brings a new baby into work, and that is what people really don't get. How can you love kids but not want one of your own?
I was always being knowingly told 'you'll change your mind when you are older' or 'when you meet the right man' or 'when the biological clock starts ticking'. They could have been right, you never know, but none of the above happened as it turns out. I didn't change my mind as I got older, my biological clock has refused to tick and Mr Right didn't tip the balance either.
In fact I was happily tripping along through life without any great plans for even a Mr Right, that was most definitely an unexpected and wonderful life bonus. Usually the minute a bloke got even slightly serious I fled so fast I left skid marks on the road! No real reasone for that either, I'm not a wild free spirit nor am I too deeply scarred by some evil man in my past to go near another.
Anyway when I realised Himself  was here to stay and for once I wasn't running but also staying and happy to do so. I raised the 'baby' question. I told him I didn't want kids and that I was not going to change my mind on that issue, and if he did, then we had better call it a day before we got involved any deeper. As it turned out he hadn't really thought about it much and didn't mind not having any, so we got serious. Thankfully he hasn't changed his mind in the last 14 years, if anything he has gone more to the other extreme and is adamant about not having children.
I have been called uncaring, selfish and un-natural. Whereas I think I definitely would be all of those three to have had a child I didn't want and therefore resented.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Projects, Pirates and a Flamingo.

As I said in my Leopard post this has been one hell of a week workwise, it looks like this will be the norm until our department closes in July. It's morbidly interesting in some ways to see them hurtling towards disatser and STILL refusing to listen. I've kind of stopped caring which I'm sure is a defence mechanism, it's too too hearbreaking otherwise. I do have to find some time this week to fill out a job application, I'm not going to go into detail in case I don't get it/jinx it but fingers crossed. It's still with the University/Library but a total change of career!

So yes it's been a busy week because after all of that at work I have been coming home and trying to get the place presentable for our visitors, who arrive late this afternoon. (eek still got the bathroom to clean and the bed to make up!)
There have been some wonderful moments this week too. Namely a fantastic 30th birthday party last night for our friend Will. It was in a pub in Oxford, so there was much booze, great music, fabulous company and surprisingly the food was too die for, often that can be the bit that lets the night down as they tend to do it on the cheap. In fact the birthday boy went out for a ciggy and by the time he got back in there was none left! Chips, garlic bread, nacho's,  3 baked bries, roasted vegetables, tiger prawns, cumberland sausages with relish and salad = YUM!
I also found a TKMaxx gift card lying in the street. Kind of a double edged bit of luck as I really don't rate it as a store. I have friends who rave about the place, my sister says it's her favourite shop ever, but me, well I just never seem to find those amazing bargains. Himself and I went into Reading on Sunday and I had the card checked at the till of the Reading branch, it had £22 on it. I hunted that store high and low and didn't find a thing worth having. So Wednesday my Mum and I went to the Oxford branch on my afternoon off and I finally had a result.After having scoured the store and found nothing other than a spaghetti spoon and some new sandwich tins.
 My Mum spotted this metal garden flamingo. His leg was hanging off but it was simply a case of putting it back in place and tightening the screw. I loved him and at £18.99 he was well within budget, as you can see he is already out in my garden, though the mental strong wind today has blown him over so I may have to find him a more sheltered spot. 
Next I thought I would share a few of the sewing projects I have FINALLY finished off, again in the effort to clear the chaos of our sitting room.

Firstly this is a lovely halterneck summer dress I bought on Ebay. As ever it was made with women who actually have a bust in mind, so I had to alter the bodice. It has been tacked and full of pins for months now, and once I started it was a stupidly quick job so I have no idea why I left it for so long! Other than I do seem to have lost my sewing mojo of late :-(

Next was a dress my parents gave me for my birthday last year. As it turned out it was much too short of me and it also had this weird poofy gathered panel at the bottom which made my hips and bum look freaking ginormous!?! NOT a good look. I loved the fabric though, it has flowers and butterflys on it, so I decided to make it into a shirt instead. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and have already worn it.
Next in the pile was a simply hideous modern 50's style dress that I bought cheaply on Ebay. I took a chance on it because the pictures where a bit dodgy and when it arrived ........all I will say is 'dear god'. Nasty cheap garish fabric with stains on it *however* it did have it's own petticoat attached and as I was going to buy one anyway I decided to salvage it

All I need is some white waistband elastic courtesy of my Mum ( I only have black) and I shall have a lovely petticoat to wear. :-)
Finally I found this gorgoues little pleated black evening bag on Ebay. I was actually bidding on a vintage tea towel that I wanted to frame. I was nosey any had a look at what else the seller was selling and spotted this little beauty. I didn't win the tea towel but I did win this, that's what I call a great result. lol

 It's in immaculate condition for it's age and still has it's little mirror.

Finally on wednesday we did orange wednesday and went to see Pirates of the Caribbean. Great fun, just what I needed, just pure escapism.
I absolutely loved the mermaids, it was brilliant to see them going back to traditional legends where mermaids are portrayed as unimaginably beautiful but basically out and out evil, rather than the cutesy Disney Little Mermaid view.

Even if Doctor Who did pre-empt that the other week with Lily Cole in their pirate themed episode.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

A View of my Wardrobe: This Week Featuring Leopard Print.

So firstly this is not the post I meant it to be!
I had been going to post something a bit more meaningful for once having been inspired by one of  Tara's brilliant posts about wearing vintage head to toe *see here*
I replied on her post that personally I like to mix and match my vintage and modern clothes, and that whilst there are clothes from certain eras I love I don't wear them because the styles just don't suit me. I was all set to discuss that further, with pictures no less, and I still might at some point. However work has been completely insane, to the point where yesterday I could have quite happilly put my head down on the desk and bawled my eyes out. Only I didn't actually get the chance to even sit down at my desk other than when I first arrived in the morning!
On top of that I have been trying to tidy and childproof the house a bit prior to a visit from Himself's Sister, her Husband and Nephew Number 2 (Now 18 months and charging round everwhere, I'm so worried he is going to do himself a damage on something we have so much 'stuff')  Also tonight is the promised Pirates of the Caribbean cinema trip *SQUEE*
so yes all other plans out of the window!

Instead I am going to take the opportunity to post gratuitous pictures of some of the many leopard print items from my wardrobe.

It was another idea I had for a post or maybe more than one post. About liking certain styles and or fabrics, colours or prints. For example I have always had a thing for leopard print, also tartan and gingham are perenial favourites in my wardrobe.
Anyway the items featured below are a mixture of modern and vintage and I love them all, though some more than others!
 First up is my vintage fur coat. I bought this 15 or more years in a second hand store in Hearne Bay in Kent. My sister and I were actually out looking for some new trousers for her at the time. It was love at first sight, it was £20 which was a lot back then but it fittedand it was furry and it was leopard print.......I was also still living at home at the time and had more disposable income! lol

My go go boots, another purchase made with my sister, in Canterbury this time. She got over the knee deep blue velvet boots and I bought these. If these boots could talk my god the tales they would tell!!! I used to wear them with an electric blue lurex mini skirt whilst channeling my inner Agnetha from Abba. Happy days.

I *heart* this top. It came from America. It's furry, it's leopard print etc Oh it's also not as shiny as that, I'm a bit perplexed by why the camera made it look like it's made out of plastic, very strange.
 On the subject of furry and leopard print, here's a velveteen vintage shirt. Someone had melted the back of one of the sleeves, trying to iron it I guess, so I just cut the long sleeves off! I have worn this loads I love it it's so comfy and looks great with many things.

Another vintage shirt, 70's I think, also from America.
I love this dress but in all honesty I don't always feel confident enough to wear it.

 I got this dress a couple of years ago. It's not a style I usually wear because fitted dresses just look wrong on me somehow, but this one didn't so I bought it.
 One of my 2 leopard print Laura Lees Dresses. This one was bought from the lovely Charlotte at Tuppence Ha'penny  Wow it does look a bit of a shapeless sack on the hanger doesn't it, it's lovely on honest!

It's not all beige and red, see here's a green dress.

Cardigans and blouses, another Laura Lees item second from the right. I love her quirky take on vintage styles :-)

 Accessories and Shoes, as we all know a girl can never have too many.
 Finally here is the skirt I was wearing the night I met Himself properly for the first time. He likes to tell people I picked him up at the bar, the cheek of it, that's not at all how it went but I digress....
I would never get rid of this skirt even though I will never again wear anything that short. That and the fact I doubt I could manage to get more than one thigh into the thing these days (just to rub it in it actually used to be too big so I used to wear it hipster style) :-(

So yes, there are a few of the leopard print items I have in my wardrobe.

Oh and would it surprise you to know my dressing gown is furry and leopard print and so are my slippers?

Friday, 13 May 2011

Water for Elephants and Getting my Back Back.

Huzzah for Friday, blogger is back up and running and I am repleat with fishfingers and chips and ice cream.
I am feeling back in the land of the living thanks to Sue my wonderful Alexander Technique practitioner. By Wednesday my back pain had reached a crescendo so I admitted defeat and called to see if she could fit me in for an emergency appointment. Failing that I would have gone to the doctors but I figured all I would get there was painkillers and  I knew from experience Sue would be able to free up all the scrunched up muscles in my back far more effectively. I came away loose and limber and walking tall, with thankfully only a vague aching rather than agony. She did quite rightly tell me I should have gone to her sooner, but I honestly thought it would have eased off before then, lesson learnt the painful way!

So Himself and I went to see Water for Elephants this week.
 I enjoyed it, didn't absolutely love it, but it was good. as a huge fan of the wonderful book
 I was thankful they didn't try to re-write the story or change it too drastically. I had heard the animal cruelty was very graphic, and indeed the girl next to Himself managed to tear herself away from her i-phone long enough to cry at one scene (more of her later), but I didn't find it so. Yes it was seat squirmingly uncomfortable but the film was a 12A so I didn't expect it to be too horrific and it wasn't.

Tai the Elephant was the scene stealer all the reviews had promised she would be as Rosie, and even the dreaded R-Patz was better than I expected. Infact the weak link in the film was Reese Witherspoon, I have seen her so SO much better. The chemistry really wasn't there between the two and she just didn't manage to portray the depth of emotion certain scenes demanded, her performance just seemed flat somehow. Hats of to Christolph Waltz as August, he is almost too good at these psychotic characters! 
Sadly the major weakness of the film is the script which was cringeworthy in places, it was like they had asked a class of school children to adapt the book!
The costumes were amazing, the attention to detail couldn't be faulted, perfect.

The thing both Himself and I came out raging about was all the ignorant, thoughtless, selfish little shits and their goddamn phones!!!! There are not ONE but TWO trailers telling you to think of others and SWITCH OFF YOUR PHONE! not just put it on slient but actually switch it OFF!
We spent the whole film being distracted by the sudden all illuminating glow of a phone, some had screens of a size that would rival the one the film was being shown on!.
What can be so important that you have to text/tweet/Facebook during a film? It's only 2 hours for heavens sake, loose yourself in another world for a while, if nothing else it's nearly £8 to see a film now, who pays that to sit and ignore the screen and text? 
 The two worst culprits were the girl in front of me who was seriously lucky she didn't get her phone snatched out of her hand and lobbed down the front as she spent pretty much the whole film texting, and the girl next to Himself. Now whilst she didn't check her phone quite as much she did make our cinema visit uncomfortable with her fierce halitosis.
Good lord we were reminded why we like to go to the later showings when you get a whole row to yourself and all the little twinkies are safely at home, no doubt texting.

 To end on a lighter note. Tesco has had fresh pinapples on offer this week = YUM.
I bought one which we had for pudding last night. Before I tell this story I should explain that I have one of those gadgets that carves the middle out and leaves the shell intact. Himself  went out to put some veg peelings in the compost bin and came back in and said
'You put the pinapple shell in the compsot bin'
Me 'yes, why?'
'Nothing it's just the way it's in there upright, it looks like you have murdered and buried Carmen Miranda!'