Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Curse of The Modern Trouser.

It's been a quiet week in Magpie Towers, you know work, eat, water the garden, work, eat, get soaked in a torrential downpour etc.

The weather in the U.K has almost decided it's summer and we have had a couple of gorgeous hot days. The kind of weather that where a well fitted pair of 3/4 length trousers or smart capri pants are a must for a working gal.
Now I know I am a bit taller than most and bizarrely a lot of my height is in my torso rather than my legs but I know I am not alone in cursing the fact that modern trousers are all cut so damn low slung!

In the 90's I embraced it with bare midriff on show but at least back then you seemed to have the choice when it came to low slung or a higher waist.
Now everything seems to rest on your pelvic bone which is not only uncomfortable, especially when you sit, it gives you the terrible triple whammy of a muffin top with a camel toe at the front and a builder's cleavage at the back!?!
Even if they fit you spend the whole day pulling them up because they feel like they are falling down and feeling obliged to suck your stomach in. Not good, not good at all.

Allow me to demonstrate with a pair of (when seen on the hanger) lovely black polka dot trousers I bought a couple of weeks ago.
It's all deceptively fine so far!

Now the dilemma is do you buy a smaller size so they stay up but give you that attractive muffin top/camel toe combination? Or do you do what I did and buy the larger size which is fine at first, but once they have worn in a bit there is too much waist

and you suddenly turn into one of those teenage boys you despise with your jeans below your arse and your pants on show!

Now I know some of you might say I should have gone with the smaller pair because once they had worn in they would get a bit loser so the muffin top would have vanished but they would still stay up. I can assure you sadly it never seems to work like that. Had I done it their waistband would have stayed resolutely and painfully tight and unflattering.

The other problem is even if I did find a pair of low slung trews that fitted, most of my tops end at my waist which is where they should end, but when your trousers don't you end up with a couple of inches of your most flabby area suddenly uncovered for the world to see. Even if my midriff was still flat and toned (those years are LONG gone) it's not a good look for the workplace.

Why oh why can't shops have proper trousers any more?

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Today I Ran Away to the Circus.

Ok it was actually yesterday but I was too tired to write this last night and ended up sitting outside wrapped in a tartan blanket drinking beer and annoying Himself by talking at him when he was trying to watch things on his laptop.

I had another couple of days off work (can you tell the end of my leave year at work is coming up? Use it or lose it so I'm using it thank you.)

I had the dentist on Thursday morn. Thankfully all was well, the dentist said "hmm the last time you had an x-ray was December 2011" so I said "yes for THE tooth" and he went "Oh yes! THE tooth, how's it holding up? everything alright?" "Oh yes, fine thank you" says I "Well keep looking after it" he says. "I shall, I never EVER want to go through that again" I reply and then he proceeds to tell me many tooth based horror stories as I edge desperately towards the door and freedom.

Mostly we go to the dentist en famille as we have all been registered there for nearly 30 years now but Thursday it was just me and Pops (he hates it when I call him that hehe)
He has a cracked tooth that needs a filling and never has an injection when he has work done, he just sits there and takes it, he's mental!
Poor Mum was at a funeral for one of the lady's from her Age Concern group, kind of an occupational hazzard when you work with the elderly but no less distressing. So we decided to take her out to lunch.
We went and collected her and took her to a little place on the industrial estate in the village they live in called The Picnic Hamper. I know that doesn't sound very glamorous but it's fitted out to look like a diner inside and the food is all home made and delicious.
From there we went back to my parents house, I had a tour round their garden, Mum's pride and joy.

 I think you can see where I get my gardening genes from!

Look what we spotted.
Mum's latest wild animal to be nursed back to health was Esme the duck who is sitting there on a nest of 10 eggs. Mum was gobsmacked, she had been knee deep in the flowerbed the day before weeding and there was no trace of a nest then. It has to be said whilst Esme might be a quick nest builder she is a terrible mother, she has had 11 ducklings already and lost the lot.

Now I did kind of have plans for my day
my Mum is a do-er, an organiser, a woman of action and before Dad or I quite knew it, our day was mapped out.
First we went the house of one of my Mum's Age Concern ladies Peggy to drop in some stuff. She has the kind of garden that makes you weep with joy, whether you are a gardener or not.
It's absolutely stunning and she does it all herself aged 90! I just hope I am still as agile and able to enjoy pottering in my garden when I am her age.

From there to a garden centre (where of course I bought a few bargain bits) and then back to my parents house before finally ending up at my brother's. I eventually got in at about 7.30pm having spent most of the day in the back of my parents car, to be honest it was like being trapped in some BBC sitcom and not at all the plans I had made for my day off work.

and yes I know this has nothing to do with the circus, so on to that part of my tale.....

This is what Dad and I spotted as we drove to pick Mum up for lunch.

Gifford's Circus on the village green. Somehow I had managed to forget when it was they were due and as you know from previous blogs I am a big fan. A sign said 'Box Office open' so Dad and I swerved off the road and bought some spur of the moment tickets for Friday afternoon.

After a trip out to Dunelm Mill where I wasn't going to buy anything and ended up with 2 lampshades we headed to the circus.

This year's show is called Lucky 13 and was about Transylvanian gypsies arriving to join the circus. As ever it was pure magic and the highlights for me were of course the bear. (I know I have blogged before of how I was laughing so much at the bear I couldn't stop and everyone was staring at me.)

He did not disappoint, this year doing Michael Jackson's Billie Jean dance, moonwalk and all before shoving the magician into a cabinet and sawing him in half.

The other was the acrobats at the end, who were so mindblowingly good I'm afraid some very less than ladylike language came out of my mouth whilst watching!

At one point all 4 were standing one on top of the others shoulders with the top guy then somehow turning himself upside down and balancing on the next guy down's head with one hand!?! How can you not exclaim?
I really must train myself to say 'Good Heavens' or 'I Say!' rather than 'Whoa! jesus christ! look at that!' and 'Fuuuuck!' most undignified, especially when out with the parents.

It was all over too soon, I wish I had taken more pictures but you get so caught up in the show you forget.

The bonus of the day was when a member of the audience got called onto the stage and I realised it was a friend I haven't seen in over 2 years. It was so lovely to have a quick chat with him and his wife after the show, the result being we are going out for a drink and a proper catch up very soon.

What did I wear to the circus?

 Silver sneakers and a Pearl Lowe chiffon tea dress, what else?

Saturday, 15 June 2013

With a Bowler Hat and a Salty Seadog.

Dammit I was going to Blog last weekend and somehow it never came about, clearly I am destined to be a once a week kind of a gal.

I had a couple of extra days off work when we got back from Torquay which meant I got to trundle into town and ransack the charity shops. I came back with a dress, a cardigan, a mini pig (pottery not real) and an egg cup,I bet you can tell from that list I gave them no mercy.

I also went to the real shops and bought some solar lights for the garden. I always forget to bring mine in in the winter so inevitably they rust up and stop working. As it happened they were on a special offer so I ended up buying some little blue stars to go on the fence too.
I liked them so much I went back on saturday and bought some more! Overkill? a bit twee? who cares? I am thrilled with them and their lovely blue twinklyness. 
I spent the rest of the weekend pottering about and even tackled some of my giant sewing mountain (steady now) whilst waiting patiently for the new Poirot on TV.

I also ended up washing 50 million hairdressing towels as my brother's washing machine had a nervous breakdown in the middle of a cycle which meant said brother arrived in a foul mood with 3 laundry bags of sopping wet towels in various stages of cleanliness.

Monday I was back at work and instead of having a sensible week as planned I managed to go to bed after midnight nearly every night!?!
Once was due to going out with friends, once was due to going out to see Nephew Number One's end of college show (at the O2 Academy in Oxford no less!)
The rest was down to the TV making me wallow in 70's nostalgia with 3 programmes on The Eagles and one on Agnetha from ABBA.(Why they felt they had to show all these programmes so late I will never know! Grr)

I have to say fascinating as it was, I was put off The Eagles documentary by the fact Don Henley seems to have morphed in to my much hated ex-boss, the likeness was truly uncanny to the point I ended up looking away whenever he was interviewed because I couldn't bear to see him and just listening instead!
All this resulted in my wimping out early from the end of year barbeque at work last night and going to bed with a book before 9pm, SO rock and roll.

Without further ado let me showcase my latest purchases.

I hope you are all sitting down because there is an outfit shot!!!

 I decided to channel a little Eddie Izzard after seeing him last week.

so this in me in my £2 bargain dress and hat that I love and Himself doesn't because according to him it looks like the kind an old lady would wear to a funeral.
It was actually wet and windy that day hence the umbrella and hat but of course the sun had to shine the moment I got the camera out. I also managed to cut my legs off because I didn't stand far enough back for the picture, oh well.
The black denim jacket I have had for years. I forgot all about it and then found it again during the mould in wardrobe saga, I have been wearing it ever since. I love it because it has purple glittery lurex woven into it!
Piggy and snail eggcup.

and now to the tale of the salty seadog.

It all started one day in June when the department store that is Debenhams had a sale. As I had vouchers I went along, mostly to look at the handbags. I need a new one for work but I am very particular about my work handbags so it is always a saga trying to find one.

I ended up buying a pair of 3/4 length jeans and this purple parrot broach.
As I am a fan of the designer Henry Holland I nipped up the escalator to womens wear just to have a quick look at the Henry Holland concession. I'm not really meant to be spending money on clothes but no harm in looking right? Well the minute I saw this jumper I knew without a fragment of doubt it had to be mine. It was in the sale too, so even better. It makes me very happy.
I shall end with the orphan elephant I bought in Torquay. Himself was on his eternal quest for new trainers in TK Maxx and I spotted this poor chap for £2. He has lost a tusk and his tail, but is still handsome in my eyes.
 He's now happy in his new home at the front of one of my flowerbeds.

 Huzzah for elephants and bulldogs in breton tops and sailor's hats says I.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Fun in the Sun on the English Riviera.

Good grief, I go away for a few days and it's like everyone I follow has blogged about 10 times!?! I have just spent most of the afternoon inside catching up on blogs instead of being outside catching up on sun.....

So yes we headed off to Torquay at the arse crack of dawn on Sunday morning to visit with Himself's sister and family. The reason being I had a ticket to see the comedian Eddie Izzard at the Eden Project on Monday with them.

The Eden Project is a visitor attraction built in an old china clay quarry, it has artificial biomes or domes that house plants that are collected from all around the world. Sadly due to timings we couldn't visit for the whole day so I didn't get to go in any of the domes. *Boo*.

It's been a shockingly long 17 years since I last saw Eddie Izzard live (god I feel old) so I was very excited to be going. Himself was left at home babysitting Nephew Number Two, (is it very bad to say I was half expecting sirens and engines and a bulletin on the evening news??) Actually it all went very well, probably because I asked Nephew Number Two to please look after his uncle for me whilst I went out!

It was an outdoor show and despite taking many layers I was bloody freezing by the time it ended. I think that was because at a rock festival you are jumping around to music where as for a comedy show you are stood still the whole time and I went as if preparing for a rock festival.....
Having said that it was a fantastic night in a glorious setting. Eddie was very, very funny and we bumped into another comedian John Bishop and got a cheeky photo so that was the bonus of the night.
Though I confess I feel like I have let the glamourous Vix down by going to a festival in a t-shirt!

Next day Himself and I had the morning to ourselves so we went for a walk along the sea front and a mooch round the shops.
 We walked out along one harbour wall thinking it joined the other but it didn't, so we had to walk all the way back and round, the sea was a gorgeous colour though.

as was the sky.

 Apparently the millenium wheel is back for the Miss England contest which takes place next week in Torquay. I wonder if it is still as tacky as it used to be when it was on t.v?

 Have I ever gone anywhere and not found an elephant to photograph??

We both bought some bargains, Himself a new most favourite ever shirt and myself two gorgeous vintage frocks from Pop up Vintage and Retro

This wonderous shop was meant to be a 6 month pop up shop but as they had done so well they are still open!
I had a lovely chat about how business has been, what events they have coming up and how amazingly crap Oxford is for vintage when you think it is a city and one with a University no less, oh and what a fricking nightmare it's one way system is too!
All whilst browsing their incredible stock, I highly recommend the shop, apparently they are also online though I forgot to ask for the website (doh), I thought there stock was fabulous, a real eclectic mix of eras and styles and very affordably priced too. They also had a decent sized men's section which is their busiest apparently.
 My two frocks cost me £23, how can you go wrong with prices like that?

After a cheeky glass of vino we headed back to the in laws who had been occupied with the very important task of having a baby scan in the morning. All was as it should be and it looks like we will be welcoming a Niece into the family in October!
I am beyond excited about the fact, especially as it means I now have an excuse to buy Hello Kitty things in dinky sizes.
We spent the evening watching the glorious sunset and 80's music videos on the TV and mostly crying with laughter.    
 Wednesday we 'popped' into town on the way to taking Nephew Number Two to the park, where I ended up buying some jewellery in another gem of a shop.
It's called All The Small Things and is all sparkly and glittery, a magpie's dream!

A fab mix of retro style, actual vintage and just plain blinging jewellery and bags.

Jennifer who owns the shop was so welcoming and friendly, just plain lovely in fact, she explained she has a house full of males so the shop is her girlie outlet!

I bought the lion brooch, the antique silver flower brooch and the purple turtle ring there. The black glass beads where from a charity shop.

We finally got to the park to play. I loved the fact that a lot of the equipment could fit both adults and children so I got to have a go on the swings alongside Nephew Number Two.

I look so unimpressed in this picture because it took Himself so damn long to take it I no longer felt like smiling but I assure you great fun was had by all.

Finally it was time to collect our cases and have goodbye kisses and cuddles with the Nephew before heading home on a train journey that was seemingly endless.

Before I sign off I wiil share my two frocks.

This lovely green spotted tea dress was £8

and this green and gold number (currently in the dry cleaners even as I type!) was £15.

Now I know, I know it is almost identical to the one I bought off Vix back in February (currently languishing in my sewing pile waiting to be altered!) but you can't have too many green dresses and this one has gold and embroidery on it rather than the silver of that one.

I like this dress not just because it is green but because it is rather shapeless. Usually vintage dresses are either tiny which I most definitely am not, either in stature or in girth! Or they are shapely which again I am not, unlike the average hour glass vintage girl I am solidly rectangular, with hips only just bigger than my waist and no boobs to speak of. I will need to alter this dress as it is too big *but* it means I can alter it to fit me properly. Usually if something fits my waist I have handfuls of spare fabric at bust and hip.
Having said that I have so many sewing projects either underway or waiting to start it may be some time before you see me in it :-(