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.......