Saturday 31 December 2016

Disaster Dresses the 2016 Edition

So the round up is nowhere near as bumper as in previous years. This is due entirely to a particularly shitty and stressful year and not to me suddenly developing the insight to only buy frocks that actually suit me! I mean how boring would that be??

So we started out with the brown Hell Bunny dress I had been coveting for fricking ages. I finally found it at a decent price and snapped it up.
As I have mentioned before I seem to be fatally attracted to V necklines and they really, really don't suit me. This dress looked hideous on, I could have wept. Undeterred I replaced it with this one
which looks a great deal better.

Next up is this dark blue dress I bought in Banbury, as I recall it was £5
 It's hard to explain but the minute I put it on it just drained me. I tried it a few times with different accessories but no, just no, so back to the charity shop it went. (Not the one I bought it from obviously.)

Hot on it's heels came the teapot dress
I was totally blinded by the fact it had teapots and teacups all over it. In truth it was too short in the body and too v in the neck and did absolutely nothing for me, so after a couple of wears I admitted defeat and it hit Ebay and was soon winging it's way off to a new home.

Next up my second ever purchase from Lady Vintage. I should have known it would end badly as neither of the dresses in my first purchase from them actually fitted.

I bought 4 dresses. 2 fitted but this one didn't. BAH. Again it is much too short in the body, meaning the waist sits uncomfortably on my rib cage, the skirt looks all wrong because it's too high up on me and there are acres of spare fabric gaping at the bust. Of course in true (to me) fashion I didn't actually bother to try it on until well after the date I could have returned it by so now I'm going to have to flog it on Ebay which serves me right for not trying it on straight away. When will I learn?

Never clearly

because the 4th dress is the same style and I still haven't even put it on yet mostly because I know it won't fit and that depresses me.
I can't remember when I bought this dress. It was in the sale at TK Maxx I do remember that. It didn't fit when I bought it, I couldn't be arsed to return it, then I got stressed and lost weight so I thought I'd try it on again. This time it did fit but looked absolutely dreadful on me.
I've listed it on Ebay 4 times now and it won't even sell! Truly a white elephant.

Next up is this deceptive Ebay purchase
I mean what could go wrong?

Everything apparently!

Too short in the body again, (see a theme here yet?) meant a comically bad fit, so with a sigh I sold it on.

Next disaster was down to either my eyesight or a bad picture on the internets. I *thought* the dress was purple. Clearly it's grey, even I see that now. Grey is one of those colours I just can't do, even accessorizing this with a lovely rich purple cardigan didn't work, so it's gone.
I shall finish with an almost disaster. The dress I bought for £10 when I went to Bath to meet with Mim & Vix
It's another too short in the body purchase, however! this one works because the waist is higher up than usual so just under my bust empire line fashion, rather than on my ribs. The sleeves are too short as well but I am in the process of altering them.

So there you have it the disaster round up of 2016.

Of course there have been some star buys.

Unusually a couple of these proved to be from Collectif!
A repro range I have had fit problems with in the past, it may just be me but among other things they do seem to design dresses for humongous bosoms. I remember a gingham sun dress I bought back in the day when I was still a size 10 and the bust was so huge my Mum removed a spare 4 inches of fabric from each cup!?!
 Anyway here are the two star buys, if anything the polka dot one is slightly too big not something I'm used to experiencing!

The Voodoo Vixen cat print dress (see previous post) fits beautifully so I may well buy from them again in the future, and as ever I know where I am with Hell Bunny, providing I buy the right style/colour of course!

On that note I may have made a wee purchase with some Christmas pennies....
 Who can resist a green dress? definitely not me!

Friday 30 December 2016

Festive Times.

I hope you have all been having the Christmas break you crave be it busy and bustling, or quiet and peaceful.

I had to work right up to the last minute but Soo and I did got one last very atmospheric trip out. We headed to Burford to finish up some last minute shopping and catch up with our friend Jenny who couldn't meet us out. So after shopping and a delicious lunch we dropped in on her for a much needed cup of tea and to exchange gifts, both Christmas and birthday, yes it's been a while since we last caught up!

It was a cold and very foggy Saturday, the fog hardly shifted all day much like today if the scene outside my window is anything to go by.
Burford has one long High Street so it makes sense to go up one side and down the other. It's a mix of high end chi-chi boutique-y shops and little independent shop and we both managed to get all the last minute bits we were after.

There was one rather mad shop which I've forgotten the name of now, filled with a eclectic mix of vintage, modern and charity shop items. I kid you not, there were items still with charity shop price tags attached! It has to be said the actual pricing of items was as mad as the shops contents, but neither of those were as mad as the woman behind the till. Frankly she was terrifying!

She stood there bellowing at every new person who stepped through the door, mostly about the glass Christmas decorations she was selling, that they MUST be looked at because they were 'Ex-John Lewis stock'.
I managed to dodge her, or so I thought, and was minding my own business quietly browsing when all of a sudden she appeared at my side insisting that I look at said decorations in her booming voice before physically moving me to their display basket!
I realised the only escape was to look in the basket, surely they would be ok? I mean after all they were 'Ex-John Lewis stock'......
Well as Soo put it, one imagines that particular buyer for John Lewis was in search of new employment right after choosing this Christmas range!?! Hideous is the only word that springs to mind.

Thankfully another customer/victim came in the shop which distracted her enough for me to escape and flee to the back of the shop.
I took a picture of this picture in said shop because, well, it summed it up very well.

Lunch proved surprisingly difficult to come by as oddly various of Burford's cafes were shut. So we ended up in The Golden Pheasant for a very delicious sandwich. All in all a good day out.

I also went to see the new Star Wars (of course) not a midnight screening this time but straight after my last pilates class of 2016! So I rushed home, changed, went to pilates, rushed back from pilates, changed again, shoved a bit of toast in my gob and rushed to the cinema. Well worth all the rushing though.  

This proved to be my theme for Christmas really, with more rushing about. Himself headed off to Margate on Christmas Eve and I headed to my brother's as we had my Dad over for a few hours.
We are allowed to take him out for 3 hours providing we use the correct transport and it is in a certain radius of his care home.
It went really well and Dad had a great time. Mum came and stayed the night with me before heading over to Dad's home the next day for the first of our two Christmas dinners!

From there back to my brother's for dinner number two then home with Mum for a few days.
So all in all a good Christmas despite not feeling even the slightest bit festive.
I did very well in the book and DVD department.
I also got Godzilla from Himself after I fell in love with him in Forbidden Planet, (somewhere I go to under sufferance it must be said.)
 To the right is my nod to Christmas, no room for a tree in this house and I couldn't be arsed with it all anyway, so I stood a few snowmen from the collection on a little side table along with Rudolph who was another gift from Himself.

Tonight we are off to The Rocky Horror Picture Show in Oxford. I shall be wearing the just for the hell of it cat print dress I bought last month.
Well, that's me. I'm still debating whether I have enough material to do my usual annual frock disaster round up. It's not been a usual year so I'm not sure I have enough to delight you with!

Sunday 11 December 2016

A Victorian Valhalla - Just Don't Blink.

Last Friday I went with my colleagues Alex and Charlotte to visit Highgate Cemetery.

I was very excited I have wanted to go for the longest time but for some reason Himself was not up for the trip (and him an ex-goth/death metal fan!)
I mentioned it in passing at work and Alex said she too had wanted to go for ages so why didn't we? Why indeed?  
We consulted Charlotte who grew up in London on how to get there and as she hadn't been since she was a teenager when they used to sneak in at night said and would love to come too, so tickets for the West Cemetery were purchased forthwith.

We had a lovely lunch at Ally's Kitchen in Archway before heading to the cemetery to join our guided tour. The West side is only available to view on a tour and I have to say it was well worth every penny. We had a fantastic tour guide and the time just flew by in this truly magical place.

To give you an idea, when Highgate West Cemetery opened in 1839 it was a vast open manicured space with a beautiful cedar  of Lebanon in it's centre.
It's almost impossible to get your head around this fact when you are walking round, because the Highgate of today is like a forest with graves in it!
Earlier this century Highgate fell into disrepair and was destined to further decay until the Friends of Highgate stepped in in the 1970's taking almost total control on the early 80's and starting a vast and ongoing programme of restoration and protection. The trees are all self seeded from this time of decay and the friends decided to leave them and only remove any that were dead, dying or dangerous. What they have created is a space that is sensitive to not just it's purpose as a cemetery but also as a nature sanctuary. There are bird boxes and bat boxes and wood piles for the hedgehogs, foxes and bugs.
We didn't see any foxes though we heard them, it's quite common to see them as they aren't too bothered by people apparently. We did get followed on most of our tour by a magpie no doubt hoping for someone to share a snack!

The West Cemetery is far more overgrown but has less famous people buried than the East Cemetery which is open to all. You can only go through on a tour because you would be liable at best to get lost but at worst fall down one of the various huge holes hidden by the foliage!
Amazingly the cedar tree is still right there in the centre.

surrounded by the Circle of Lebanon which you enter via the Egyptian Avenue
 This leads to the Terrace Catacombs which I have to say is the only place that had an unpleasant atmosphere, frankly I could not wait to get away from there, very strange. More so when Alex admitted on the way home she had felt the same!

At the top was Nero. How gorgeous is he? The monument to George Wombwell who owned a menagerie
  The symbolism was fascinating, urns to represent the soul, lilies for chastity and innocence to name just two and of course angels. Lots of beautiful angels.
Sadly it was too cold and too late for us to visit the East Cemetery as well, it was already getting dark, something to do in the spring I think.
 Just one of the many examples of nature and how amazing she is, literally growing out of stone.

I would strongly recommend a visit if you get the chance, just remember
Don't Blink.......

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Cinema, A Few Frocks and a Brooch or Two.

Firstly thank you for your comments about the brown Hell Bunny frock, but it just wasn't me so it went back and instead I bought a lovely brooch from luxulite instead!
I'm a cancerian so it seemed very fitting.

I also bought a lovely green brooch whilst out Chjristmas shopping with Soo.
We went to Aylesbury because neither of us have been there before. I can't say I can see myself ever going back there.....but, you know, it was a day out and Soo and I always have fun wherever we go!
Sorry it's a bit out of focus. £3 = bargain.

 There were a plethora of charity shops so we did them all. The only other thing I bought myself was this piggy creamer for £1.50 because I have a cow, a cat and an elephant so why not a pig?
I also bought some lovely chrysanths on the market which was a good idea at the time but alongside all the rest of my shopping not quite such a good idea going home on the train! They just about got home in one piece, shutting them in Soo's car door wasn't my best move either.

Himself and I were straight to the cinema to see Fantastic Beasts and How to Find Them when it opened. I loved it, oh and the costumes were fabulous.

We also went to see A United Kingdom. Himself was all set to go without me on his afternoon off but I soon disabused him of that idea!
I had been very much looking forward to seeing this film and to be fair I did enjoy it. Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo were fantastic in the lead roles but the film was just too short to do the story justice, it galloped through and over what you felt were important plot lines. I could see the story really done justice as a 3 part drama on BBC1

So Black Friday seems to be a thing now in the U.K. I browsed a few of my favourite sites as and when I got emails through.

Yes, yes I know I'm a. not meant to be buying full stop and b. not meant to be buying for me at Christmas time but well I may have treated myself to a frock or two

Hell Bunny had 30% off so it was a done deal

I have been stalking this dress since I first saw it in the summer and now it is mine.
I also could not resist this one, but in a delicious royal blue
It will be perfect for events at work.

This frock will not be perfect for events at work but do I give a shit?

The answer would be nope, not a one because it has cute black cats on it. It's from Voodoo Vixen and I've never bought from them before so we will have to see what the fit is like. I suspect I will have to alter the bust because from the size chart it's 4 inches bigger than mine to accommodate my waist size. Sometimes I hate not having a real waist.
I also could not resist this cardigan
Also Voodoo Vixen and also a size too big because the smaller size was out of stock but it doesn't really matter with a cardigan and I've already worn it to work this week.

I'm off to Highgate Cemetery on Friday which I am really looking forward too then a flying visit to Margate this weekend. I really don't want to start thinking about Christmas but the dinners out, drinks and parties are starting to mount up, god help my poor waistline.

Saturday 12 November 2016

Films, Frock Musings and a Bag Bonanza

I forgot to mention last post that we had been to see Doctor Strange
though hardly a surprise to regular readers of my blog, I've never hidden the fact I'm a big Marvel fan. It certainly lived up to expectations, I highly recommend it.
 I was excited to see where the chapel of Exeter College in Oxford appeared as my chance to see inside said chapel was scuppered by them filming Dr Strange when I visited the college. As an ex-art student I was desperate to see inside for the Pre-Raphaelite stained glass windows, maybe next time. Anyway the chapel was in a brief scene but instantly recognisable so at least they didn't cut it out in the edit!

We also went to see A Street Cat Named Bob
I enjoyed that too even if it did leave me with a terrible ache of longing for my beautiful boy Edward, or indeed a cat in general. Every now and then I miss owning a cat dreadfully. I grew up with cats and would dearly love another but it's just not practical right now. It's hard enough to find rented properties but even harder if you have a pet and leaving them on their own all day when we are at work is just not fair. *sigh*

I was left pondering this week on why I do keep being attracted to,and tempted to buy dresses that just don't suit me. I KNOW deep v-necklines do absolutely nothing for me but over and over again I find myself tempted by a frock and all my good sense flies out of the window.
Casing point this rather lovely frock by Hell Bunny came up on a deal not so long ago on a website I use for many Hell Bunny purchases TigerMilly.

Yup my common sense hitched a ride out of town and I hit purchase button! It arrived  and oh dear....
I even wore it once in the vain hope this might be the dress to break the curse but sadly not, it looked bloody awful. When will I learn??

Let's end on a happy note.  Bags, beautiful, beautiful bags!
I was actually looking for a gift for someone else, which I did find, I just ended up buying myself one or two as well *cough*

Now how could I not buy this little beauty?
especially as the makers name is

 Anyone who knows me knows I'm a fan of man himself
(gratuitous shot) so it seemed meant to be!

The other was a this rather fabulous Italian 1950's raffia bag. I have 4 of these in different colours but I have never seen a red & black one before. Appeals to the rock chick in me too so for a tenner it had to be mine.
I'll end with a pair of shoes from my Ma. She thought I'd like them because they are purple, I'm not sure they are me but I'll give them a go
Can't say no to purple shoes.

Oh and look who has taken to sitting and shouting in the top of the tree at the bottom of our garden, a red kite.
Beautiful birds but lordy they are noisy!

Saturday 5 November 2016

A Day Out in London.

Another blogging break for me and this time due to the combination of being busy at work and bothered by a lingering cold. Bloody thing seemed to go and then came back with a vengeance this week.
I did manage to get out for our anniversary. This year we decided to go to London and do a ghost walk, luckily the weather was good but it was very cold, which probably helped towards my relapse the next day!
We started at St Paul's , went on to Barbican ending in Clerkenwell.

I know it's probably my sense of humour but I found this so funny I had to take a picture
Clearly someone was so desperate for their 80 a day they smoked them all in one go!
The downside of doing the walk on a Sunday was nearly everything was shut. Including the Viaduct Tavern which is meant to be bothered by a poltergeist who likes to take people's drinks when they aren't looking and switch the lights off in the ladies toilet.

I was thrilled to see this gorgeous Rowan tree full of berries. It's unusual enough to see trees in busy streets but where there are any they tend to be plane trees.

Taking of trees, I have no idea what these are meant to be
Bird houses? A sculpture?

We decided to head towards the West End in search of food and a wee tipple to warm the cockles.
I had to take a picture of Ed's Diner. Back in the day we quite often used to head here after pubbing, clubbing or a gig at The Marquee. I can still remember how good the tuna melt and fries were, oh and the vanilla milkshake too yum!

We mooched about a bit before heading home and had a browse in Fopp records where I went a little mad in their vintage film section because they had a sale.
 Just the thing for a miserable afternoon.

I've had my first frock disaster in a while too. This handmade dress I bought on Ebay for 99p to be precise
It is actually lovely, a good quality heavyweight fabric and very well made. The issue is down to me and my physique. As mentioned before I have a long torso, and this lovely dress is not made for a long torso

 top finger shows the waist of the dress, bottom finger shows my waist, when there is quite such a difference, over 3 inches here, it means everything else is in the wrong place so the fit is dreadful. The waist sits uncomfortably on my rib cage, the hips bunch at the waist with fabric to spare the fitted skirt strains over the hips. Bah.

The teal houndstooth print one from Bath is also a bit short in the body, but thankfully it's not as bad and the waist is elasticated I can make it work. I haven't tried the lurex one on yet, it was a bit whiffy so it's in the wash.