Monday, 30 June 2008

The Office

I've always hated the idea of working in an office, and when at the beginning of the school year, we were told to go and find two weeks of work experience, I went to all lengths possible to procure a placement which doesn't involve office work.

Of course I realised that most jobs involve some sort of office but what I really didn't want was an office based environment, the type where computers are the main focus, and there are little cubicles etc. But then, when I managed to get a placement suitably un-officey (starts today... YAY! - and don't worry I won't blog about it) the regrets started flooding in.

I saw all my friends worrying over what is suitably 'smart' for an office. They had to go shopping, for blouses, smart skirts which hit the knee, new shoes. I had been given a dress code of 'casual' where 'jeans are perfectly acceptable'. I know, this is probably easier but I realised when my friend came round and started perusing my wardrobe that I have an alarming number of pieces that would be perfect for An Office.

If I don't work in an office, where can I wear beauties like this?

If you are lucky enough to work in an office and are maybe starting to wish you were a poet frolicking in fields of daisies and inspiration (or a farmer), this stunning Alexander McQueen suit is on sale at Net-a-Porter for £516.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Tag Time - 123

Ooooh, I've been tagged again by ENC, writer of fantastic blog observationmode. This should be an easy one:

1. Pick up the nearest book.

2. Open to page 123

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

But it gets more complicated. Because upon reaching for 'the nearest book' I realised... there are three books I could choose, each exactly equidistant from my position on my chair, typing on this keyboard. The choices are:

-An Oxford Paperback FRENCH dictionary
-The Mitfords, Letters Between Six Sisters
-Pride and Prejudice

I've managed to rule the dictionary out because there are no sentences, only definitions. So I'll give you the Mitfords and P&P too, because I'm nice like that.

The Mitfords (this was actually a bit tricky too; my books are so stubborn. So I'm just typing out the first 4 sentences of the second letter on the page)

(from Diana to Deborah)
Darling Debo,
Last night the Fuhrer was talking about which of us was going to the Parteitag, and he says he specially wants you to go. Isn't it wonderful. I told what a marvellous ride you are and he thinks you are so beautfiul and wants you to see the Parteitag while you are young.

Wasn't that interesting? I've gone far enough to pass all the Hitler fever amongst Diana and Unity, now it's all about the Queen, Lucien Freud and Lanvin.

Pride and Prejudice

'I confess,' said he, 'that I should not have been at all surprised by her Ladyship's asking us on Sunday to drink tea and spend the evening at Rosings. I rather expected, from my knowledge of her affability that it would happen. But who could have foreseen such an attention as this? Who could have imagined that we should receive an invitation to dine there (an invitation moreover including the whole party) so immediately after your arrival!'

I haven't read this yet, but I'm looking forward to it. I especially love Jane Austen's dialogue and this is a fantastic example. And it fits so neatly into the rules!

And now, for the tags. Feel free to do them or not do them or you know... half do them. Whatever.

Ambika @ (Into) the Fray
WendyB @ Wendy Brandes Jewelry

And my blog reading list is relatively short, I didn't want to retag some and some are just too huge so I'm going to cheat (again) and leave it at two. Isn't this the hardest part of the tag? I think so..

PS yes I am posting in the future, I don't know why but I think it's cool.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Hello Not-Stranger

I wasn't thinking about it at the time, but yesterday was the first time I posted photographs of myself where you can properly see my whole face, therefore identify me if you know the real me. Not that it particularly matters; if someone I know is reading this, they will easily know who I am because I also constantly talk about the books I'm reading, films I've watched etc to my poor friends. Plus, there are the card photos, outfit posts... I'm not the most secretive person.

Right now however I have only told one friend about this blog. I thought she was a safe person to tell because she has a hopeless memory (I love you really, if you're reading) and whilst she commented once, I don't think she remembers its existence, certainly not the URL. I haven't told anyone else, because it feels ridiculously self-important to waltz up to someone 'guess what... I have a blog!' Plus some of my friends made some short-lived blogs about a year ago and I didn't want to associate with that. As a creative outlet, I really didn't want to have to worry about what people might possibly, maybe just think. But obviously, my friends do read fashion blogs and there's always the remote possibility they might stumble upon this. And if they do, I'm not going to do a vanishing act.

I merely ask, darling person I know (I call everyone darling) that you make your presence known as a visitor. Ring me up, drop it into a conversation, send me a letter. Please! xx

Thursday, 26 June 2008

My Life in Hair

UPDATE: if you're still reading... I chickened out, everyone was telling me to! On the upside, I got a trim and it's looking a lot healthier, partly due to the miracle that is Aveda Damage Remedy. So I have deleted the photos, out of some sort of weird anti-face-on-internet thing I have going on. It's almost as weird as the hair thing.

I have a somewhat unusual phobia, although phobia may be too strong a wrong to describe my aversion to hairdressers.

Throughout my life, my feature most commented on has been my hair. More times than I could count, people have said that they wish they had my hair, how beautiful it is etc etc. Probably just as many times, they have also laughed at it and made jokes. Of course, I've always held onto the fact that they're 'just jealous'. Is it just me whose parents used that phrase on a practically daily basis when I came back from school every day distraught for one reason or another?

Anyway, despite the attention that my hair receives on its good days, it truly does have a life of its own and as a result of this I have had more than my fair share of bad hair days. In fact, I have more hair-related neuroses than is probably healthy and therefore I am pretty terrified of getting anything more than a trim (I have had approximately the same cut for a very long time). But right now, I really need to get it properly cut. It actually looks alright today, but I simply have too much hair, it overwhelms my face. Yet still, I do not know where to go, because I can't go back to my old hairdresser (he's scared of giving me more than a trim after past reactions) and I need to have that right level of trust.

So right now my hair is stick in limbo although I am grateful for the colour I do love and have been blessed with (although - why does no-one tell you that gingers get white hair early?). In a fit of OMG-I-WANT-TO-CUT-ALL-MY-HAIR-OFF I have decided to share with you My Life in Hair. The ups, the downs, the current 5ish year rut... some of these photos will truly quash my 'pretty face' persona, but it's all for a good cause. I need your advice!

Here I am, Baby Pretty Face, sporting the ever so stylish quiffy crop.

Then came the years of glory, pre-Raphaelite curls. These are the snaps which make me long to cut off all my hair. I think I'm kidding myself that I'll become this cute again.

But as I got older, the hair got heavier and lost some of its bounce. Cue a visit to the hairdresser which I will never forget, and probably stemmed my whole issue with hair. She proclaimed that my hair needed some 'volume' and proceeded to give me the worst haircut I have ever experienced. Putting these picture up is taking me some guts... I think they'll be going down soon.

Bad cuts don't last forever, even if the emotional scars do. Soon my hair was long enough and I got it cut... into the style I've consistently had for the past few years, the whole of my teenage life. When it's just cut, I like it, but my hair grows so damn quick and I'm getting a little bit bored.

Okay, so as I said... what to do? I love the texture and colour of my hair but never very much the cut. Is it just a case of accepting that I'll have the same long, life of its own hair for the rest of my life and brave the chop, hoping that one godawfut cut is enough for one lifetime? And yes, my hair is very tasty.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

What type of blog are YOU? Take Two.

Around a month ago, I wrote about the different types of blogs... anony-blogs, mayjah blogs, combinations of the two. There are of course plenty of examples I failed to mention, but in that post I was mainly referring to the style of the blogs. Recently however I have noticed that blog content varies too, even within the fairly limited world of fashion blogging (outfit blogs, catwalk and trend blogs, fashion news blogs). But I'm going to surprise you here, and not do a mini essay psychoanalysing the different blogs in comparison to my own in excruciating detail.

Instead I am going to say that I have recently noticed that despite style blogs being the type I read most frequently, and the majority of my early posts being about style I am leaning more and more towards the randomest of topics. Furthermore, I tend to discuss these all within an inch of their lives (5+ paragraphs on my newspaper habits anyone?). Anyway my point is - yes, I do occasionally have one - how can you bear to read this shizzle? I have found that my more image heavy posts do tend to receive more comments but still, some of you are reading my longer posts, aren't you? Does it bother you when you have no idea what you'll be reading about when you click on my blog or does that not matter at all?

I know that it would bug me a bit, but I'm not sure I care because I do enjoy this (approximately) daily creative outlet. Still, I think I'm going to try to focus on what I try to make the common denominator of all my posts, which is finding beauty in everything.

Interestingly, here are six women who came up on the first page when I searched 'beautiful' on Google Image Search.


It is pretty much an established fact that any sign of £, $ , € or any other currency symbol is bound to touch a nerve amongst people as a fiscally concerned species. However, as far as the human race goes I am relatively unconcerned with issues related to money. The amount of money I will earn is probably the lowest down factor on my list of concerns when thinking about my dream job; I want to be a writer or a midwife. My ideal husband would wear geeky glasses, have blond hair and blue eyes and as for his yearly income... I hadn't really given it that much thought. But a struggling poet or compassionate school-teacher do both sound very sexy.

At the same time, I know my desired lifestyle wouldn't be particularly suited to a low income; put simply, I am not very thrifty at all. This probably stems from my mother, who whilst never rich, always believes that life is stressful enough without worrying about a couple of pennies here or a penny there, if you can afford it. We do not go on luxurious holidays but we certainly have plenty of luxurious cake at over-priced cafes. My approach to money is ridiculed my a few of my friends, very much inverse snobs. How dare you spend over £15 on a pair of shoes?!? Think of the credit crunch! Think of the poor working-class! The starving babies in Africa! They judge, walking the polished pavements of middle-class London.

Nevertheless, as I have said, I am quite immune to issues of money, and I admit that it is a terribly naive idea, but I often think that it would be so lovely if all currency was thrown out the window. I think the power money holds over us is atrocious (But what about quality of products? Incentive to create? Purpose for work? Yes I know, I know, it's just an idea).

As a result of my opinions, I do not find it difficult to part with the money I have earnt (yes, earnt) and have probably spent more than the average teenager on single items of clothing. I do not bulk buy from Primark, ever, but I have spent over 100 squid on a jacket and over 50 smackers on a skirt. Still, when I fell in love with a gorgeous leopard print trench coat from Urban Outfitters, I could not part with the wonga (liking the synonyms here?). I saw it once and ran out of the shop for fear of succumbing temptation. The second time, I tried it on, my friend took a photo - which I cannot find - then returned it lovingly to its sisters. Now, I look on the Urban Outfitters website, there is a sale, and the trench is gone. They do have it, in other less fabulous colours:

Sadly, these bland colourways do nothing but remind me of the fabulousness of the leopard-print trench (which I do think I have mentioned on here in the past... once or twice) so I am saved from dropping a not remotely affordable £99.99. But I am left thinking... if the leopard-print trench was still available, would I have been able to part with that cash? In the grand scheme of things, yes it could be seen as quite a bargain, but still, not for someone who doesn't yet pay taxes or get Chanel handbags from Daddy.

Writing this has now left me thoroughly convinced that we should just abandon money. What temptation, corruption, joy, desolation and power it can create! Well, I think I had better adjust my hopes and aim to marry an economist (is that a job?) or someone equally understanding of money, because right now I really can't see any beauty or point in it at all.

Monday, 23 June 2008

News Reader

No, I'm not referring to the type who appears on TV, does the little paper shuffle and goes 'Hello, this is the ... news'. Neither am I referring to those whose Sunday rituals involve tea and the Sunday broadsheet. Nor one of these:

It has probably stemmed from the habits of my parents, but I hardly ever buy an actual newspaper (unless it comes with a good DVD). When I was younger, I would watch Newsround in order to 'keep up with current affairs' because we're always educated that if you don't know the news, you're ignorant.

Obviously, I started to grow out of that and pretty much stopped being aware of any news, even if what I knew before was mainly limited to world disasters and school makeovers. Oh, and did you know that Jamie Lynn Spears gave birth? I didn't.

That doesn't mean that I don't read the news. I do, checking onto Times Online and The Guardian regularly (read: 3 or 4 times a day). This is probably mainly because I prefer reading broadsheets, but I've never quite got the hang of physically handling them. They're big. Anyway, so naturally when I reach the website homepages I am updating myself with major news. However I rarely read those articles. Instead, I prefer to use the news as a way of expanding my understanding of issues as opposed to being informed of them. For this reason, I tend to stick to the hugely insightful comments and blogs on these websites, and the articles which debate rather than report.

Often my favourites are the most controversial, and then I often end up quoting them in conversations or debates (yes I'm that hugely annoying person who likes to support everything they say with 'I read...'). What sort of newsreader are you?

Anyway, I thought I'd post some of my favourite articles that I've read in the past few weeks (not that I agree with all of them) as they really do offer a lot of food for thought, something which I'm not sure I'm yet capable of doing. Yes, still recovering... I went to bed ridiculously early yesterday again.

Abortion: why it's the ultimate motherly act

'We like our Venuses young'

The do's and don'ts of poetry

Which interesting articles have you read lately?

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Hello @ 6:49

No, you did not misread the title of this post. Yesterday I went backpacking with my school-friends as a practice for the 'real' hike in September. 12ish kilometres (or more due to a slight... detour) and the same thing again this morning, completed before I normally wake up on a Saturday.

There was a 17th birthday party in the same (public) field that we were camping in which kept me up until well past midnight. Luckily my heavy sleeping meant I slept through one drunken partygoer jumping on some (occupied) tents. Then I woke before 5 and had to get up properly for a 7 o'clock start soon after. So... hello @ 6:49

-Every part of my body aches down to the fingers typing this up. I am about to have a nice bath... I'm going to blame you if/when it overflows. Still, I had a wonderful time and despite feeling like I'm mstill wearing a 60l backpack, I feel very exhilarated and my legs feel very toned. I know this is probably a figment of my fluctuating imagination, but it's nice while it lasts.

-On that note: the 'i love my grass' mood of last Sunday (these posts are scary because they highlight how fast time passes) is firmly continuing. I think I may be rivalling Pollyanna in the silver lining stakes. Sickly.

-I am literally struggling to keep my eyes open and the bath is enticingly ready. But I just noticed on Dashboard that I have my first double figures comments! Did that sentence make any sense? Also... I just thought, there must be really different systems on typepad and blogger because I have no way of knowing if my old posts have new comments, unless I religiously check through them (which I *occasionally* do)

-OK, time to go.

PS I think the words of the day are paying off, this post is littered with impressive vocab dontcha think?

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Style Schizophrenic

I have a problem.

I am not content to merely have a nice wardrobe. Whenever I watch a film, or read a fashion article, or a book, or a blog I am invariably left wanting a highly distinct style. Let me explain further. After watching The Umbrellas of Cherbourg , I became entirely convinced that I want a wardrobe where I can wear an entire outfit in one colour. Then I go even further. I want to be this lady:

(photo and article about New Yorkers who only wear one colour here)

But then I watch Breakfast at Tiffany's or see a couple of photos of Angelina Jolie. Immediately I want to purchase the entire contents of Uniqlo and wear nothing but neutral colours with the odd orange coat for the rest of my life.

Then I watch some films with one of those other old-time glamorous movie starlets. Or I browse through my wonderful book of Great Costumes from Classic Movies Paper Dolls before watching Atonement or an episode of Poirot. I am instantaneously convinced that serious vintage is the way to go and set out to stock up on fur stoles, slinky evening gowns and some hairspray.
Yet before I know it, I spot a springy looking girl with a funky crop and retro dress and think how dull elegant is. And I've gone and purchased a colourful floral dress although I don't have any shoes that go with it.

Oh... but how truly stylish do those daring bloggers and style-spotter darlings look in their fashion-forward mannish trousers, harem pants and vertiginous heels. I want to rock adrogyny! Or like somebody the Sartorialist would shoot. How about both?! (photo taken from said Sartorialist)

So... is there hope for a young 'un like me? Will I *one day* fall naturally into my own defined style, or am I destined to be a complete and utter style schizophrenic forever?

Friday, 20 June 2008

Tagged: seven songs shaping my spring

Thank you so much to Pamcasso at SquareOldSoul for my tag (it's always nicer to be properly tagged than to have to 'request') to:

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to.”

Until fairly late I was not very much into music. All my friends would know the lyrics to all the current songs and I'd just stand there commenting 'ooh that's nice, who is it?' and receive incredulous looks from those who could hardly believe that I didn't recognise Destiny's Child's latest hit.

In fact, I still don't watch the music channels and rarely remember to turn on the radio. So it's completely down to my beloved i-Pod that I have finally begun to discover my love of music and the magic properties it holds which calm, excite and inspire. Anyway, here are my current favourite songs that I'm loving listening to, I hope they're not dreadfully uncool (my grasp of song popularity is limited - I don't think I've ever been able to read a copy of NME without falling asleep). The titles are linked to videos of the songs on youtube.

The Magic Position - Patrick Wolf. Maybe I'm more in love with the musician than the music, but it is a wonderfully happy song.

Heart of Glass - Nouvelle Vague cover of Blondie. Of course, I do love the original but currently I'm prefering the Nouvelle Vague version which is a little more fresh right now.

Les Champs Elysees - Joe Dassin. I was given a compilation of French songs, of which this catchy tune was the surprise hit. A little embarrassing to admit but to quality is not one of the rules. Plus, I can understand the easy lyrics which is always a bonus. Au soleil, sous la pluie, a midi ou a minuit...

That Time - Regina Spektor. From my favourite album, Begin to Hope. Slightly less poppy and catchy than the other songs. I have always loved Regina since seeing her perform in September: for her fantastic name and that tunelessly singing to her songs is the only thing which completely distracts me from tortuous tummy aches.

Everyday is Like Sunday - Morrissey. I absolutely love the tune. A bit late (read: very) on the Morrissey bandwagon but I am particularly enjoying his songs right now.

Crown of Love - Arcade Fire. I am in love with this band's music, especially the theme of this song. I am desperate to go see them!

Go Tell The Women - Grinderman. I would never voluntarily go and get some Nick Cave but I heard this song through my dad, who's obsessed with Cave. I don't think I should be admitting to that at all, but go listen to the song and then try to tell me that the lyrics aren't genius. No video though, because Nick Cave live performances never sound anything like the actual song.

Now, tag time... I don't think any of these peeps are tagged yet. Just ignore if you are:

I Hate Generic
Mud On My Teadress
Peachy Hollow

Ok I'm cheating now, I can't think of any other bloggers who haven't done this and haven't been tagged to do it. So I'll do that horrible thing and say that if you want to be tagged, put your hand up and I might choose you.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Paperdoll Heaven

I have just finished writing a scheduled post for Saturday, when I'll be away. It was great fun! I wonder if you can tell which posts were obviously the funnest (most fun?) to write. Anyway, in it, I mentioned this fabulous book which I have, which is a collection of 'Great Costumes from Classic Movies Paper Dolls'. Buy here.

I have had it for quite a few years now and I used to adore going through it practically nightly (obsessed? moi?) reading Tom Tierney's wonderful notes at the front and back and choosing my favourite costumes. I even had a notebook full of my 'designs' which were often very much 'inspired' by the costumes in this book.

I've never been able to destroy the beauty of the plates by cutting them out but in some ways this booklet is my earliest 'fashion memory'. And it's linked to one of my favourite activities... dressing dolls up. More on that later... maybe.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Yeah Right

I have been telling myself for a while now that the reason I don't exercise very much is because I have insufficient sportswear.

Whilst the clever part of me knows that my dislike of swimming probably stems all sorts of psychological reasons (blindness in the water without glasses or contact lenses, horribly horrible swimming coaches when I was younger and inherent laziness) I also insist that if I had a nice swimming costume I'd be down to the pool in no time. A perfectly valid reason right now, because I don't actually have a swimming costume or bikini at all having got rid of my old ones which don't fit. But even when I did, a couple of years back (yes I haven't swum in that long) there was always another excuse... my favourite being that 'I just washed my hair yesterday!'

And I had totally convinced myself that the delay in my resolution to start running was that I have no nice tracksuit bottoms or sports tops. God forbid I wear my school PE kit or borrow some sportswear from my mother! A couple of weeks ago I went for a (super-brisk) walk in combats and an old t-shirt. Guess what?! My legs went fine.

So basically, I'm lazy. But part of me is still convinced that the perfect retro Marilyn Monroe style swim-suit will turn me into an underwater goddess.

If only I could find one.. any suggestions?

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Word of the Day

UPDATE: what is it with the word 'P'??? Completely unintentional but my 4th word of the day (they're not daily, though but anyway) begins with 'P' too! Pulchritude... it's a fantastic word but honestly the rest of my vocabulary is being compromised here.

Some people say that using long words in sentences just makes you should pretentious. I agree with Roald Dahl, who said in his fabulous short story The Great Automatic Grammatizator that:

' "there's a trick that nearly every writer uses of inserting at least one long, obscure word into each story. This makes the reader think that the man is very wise and clever. So I have the machine do the same thing. There'll be a whole stack of long words stored away just for this purpose."


"In the 'word-memory' section," he said, epexegetically'

However there is always the problem of acquiring these wonderful worlds. Words such as 'epexegetic' (meaning explanatory) have a nasty habit of slipping out of one's mind. So I have instated a habit of, whenever I come across a new word, adding it to a little onscreen notepad so I can glance at it daily. Eventually I can remember the word without looking at my computer and I hope that one day I will be able to recall the meaning and spelling too, until sometime in the distant future the word will actually be used, in speech or writing. Currently, I have three words on my list and oddly they all begin with the letter P.

Today's Word of the Day is 'pleonastic'. I can't remember where I discovered it, but describes the use of more words than necessary to express an idea clearly.

I.E. this post is pleonastic because all it is basically saying is Roald Dahl is superbly awesome as are words.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Thank you kindly

A couple of weeks ago (or more, or less; my sense of time is hugely distorted) I had an interesting semi-discussion via comments with on the subject of etiquette.

I personally hold the belief that the concept of etiquette is ever so ridiculous: a set of old-fashioned rules which people must adhere to in order to appear 'respectful'. In my opinion, people in general put the ideas of etiquette and respect together, whilst I see them as very different things. Take the example of what to wear to a wedding. According to the unspoken (although often written) rules of etiquette, black is the suitable colour to wear. Modesty should be preserved.

To me, this 'rule' is hugely ridiculous; that something like the colour and cut of one's clothing can be a sign of grief/respect/whatever seems to undermine the importance of the occasion. However and this is important, I understand that some people enjoy and place a great deal of importance in tradition. It is out of respect to them and not the laws of etiquette, that I would wear black to their funeral and not to their weddings.

But with the issue of thank-you cards I simply cannot bring myself to do what is deemed polite. I have never before sent a shop-bought thank-you card because I believe in the power of a kind 'thank-you'. I have mentioned on here before that I put a lot of effort intomy home-made cards and as a result, I am not willing to send a thank-you card to every single teacher at the end of the school year, nor every single person who gives me a birthday gift. When I do say thank-you, it's not etiquette but gratitude.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Hello @ 10:51

UPDATE: I have added a tag to these posts. You can't have @ in your tags so now they're 'off to bed posts'. Now do you see why I shouldn't post when I'm tired?


-When I started this blog, I think just over a month ago I was unsure if I would ever amass a readerbase and also very much unsure about whether I even cared. Looking back now most of my posts (which were actually a lot more creative than some of my recent ones) got 0 comments, or possibly 1. Then recently I started gaining a few more readers, still nothing astronomical (what did I hear you say? Double figures?!? Not on my blog..) but a steady 5-8. I think this was almost certainly because of my increased blog commenting, but now it seems this has steadied to a trickle (oh yes I love you guys). I've realised that I don't mind although at first I was a little bit woaaaaaah what happened.

-And yes my writing style right now is a little... um out of character. I have just written over 1000 words of an essay, well I wouldn't call it an essay quite yet. I have no idea how the rest of the world's essays evolve but mine follow an invariable format. There is the 0 draft - the one I have just completed, in which the format of the essay is clearly laid out. All my ideas are put on screen in a vaguely coherent mess. This stage is mainly to ensure that my paragraphs link nicely. I pride myself on linking paragraphs nicely.

-What was I going to say? I had something hugely fascinating to say... I cannot remember but I do remember something else! I love enc of observation mode! Google her! I can't be bothered to link... She gave me a whole bunch of invaluable tips and today I embarked on another wardrobe cull. I am famed for my frequent wardrobe culls which are normally hugely uncullworthy (a couple of tops maybe, or perhaps one pair of jeans which haven't seen the light of day for several whole light years) because I hoard simply everything apart from clothes. I think most of my friends think giving away something which you can still physically wear (and I mean physically physically) is, well, stupid. Anyway today's wardrobe cull was actually hugely impressive, so thank you darling darling enc. Look what I got rid of today:

4 vests
3 bras + 1 bikini
6 t-shirts
2 skirts
1 pair of shorts
2 pairs of trousers
2 belts
1 dress

Go me!

-Other random thoughts over the weekend include the realisation that the grass is universally greener on the other side. It's not just my garden which is a worrying shade of brown. I am currently working on gaining a liking for brown grass. I am no longer showering the grass at one hour intervals and buying all sorts of magic green-making potions. I will be happy with my grass. God, what an amazing analogy.

I really think it's time I went to bed now...

High Society

Currently I am reading a truly fascinating book, and today I was asked why I found it so fascinating. A quote from Jane Shilling's review in The Times of the book, Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters, encapsulates my reason:

''An anthropologist's treasure: a keyhole view of the private rituals of the British upper classes [and] the pure ore of that very peculiar world"

It's an absolutely enthralling collection of letters between six entirely unique individuals: Nancy, a writer; Pamela, a country wife; Diana, a beautiful fascist; Unity, obsessed with Hitler; Jessica, a communist who ran away to America and the youngest, socialite and Duchess of Devonshire, Deborah. As I was reading yesterday, something clicked in my mind. I have that sort of mind, which can match two pieces of entirely obscure information but can't figure out the tube after well over a decade travelling around London.

Anyway, here she is, the youngest and only surviving sister in a Vogue photoshoot. She is with her grand-daughter, the super-model Stella Tennant in front of the family estate of Chatworth. Chatworth is mentioned in some of Deborah's letters: 'We went for a picnic to Chatsworth in a pony cart which was great fun' - 1943.

Then this:

She's on Vogue's best dressed from 1916-2006 list! Stella Tennant is featured on the opposite page. Seeing this made me think about how Vogue did and still does operate within high society. It also made the book an even more fascinating read. As an aside - Vogue appears to have made a rather convenient error. They say that 'Debo' was considered the most beautiful, yet in the book of their letters, it is categorically stated that her older sister Diana was the most beautiful, and often overshadowed her other siblings in this respect.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Beautiful Pandas

Okay, I know this is completely random and out of sync with my other posts... I mean I didn't even 'report' YSL's death. But seriously, this piece of news has made me more upset than any other I have read in quite a while.

The lives of 90 per cent of China's endangered pandas are now in jeopardy after last month's massive earthquake devastated the remote mountain corner that is their last remaining habitat.

Pilched from Times Online.

This is a whole species we're talking about, an entire species of beautiful, peaceful creatures.

How Ruthless is Ruthless?

OK, in advance I warn you: this post is bound to be incredibly self-absorbed, so look away now if you're feeling particularly irritable. Otherwise, I'd love your input!

I have decided that I am going to do a ruthless wardobe cull this weekend - I think I mentioned it in my night-time post. The only problem I am having is: how ruthless is ruthless?

There are the obvious ones: blue stripy dress which is terribly unflattering, a 'what-was-I-thinking' robot vest...

But then there are the numerous other items: purple vest, thin spagetti strap vests, sleeveless top with sequin neckline. All three of the items mentioned are merely examples; they are all pieces which don't fit me perfectly. In fact, the thin spagetti strap vests are simply layers to wear under other slightly see-through or school tops. The top with the sequin neckline for example, is several years old and the fit is awful and slightly mis-shapen, and the neckline too low. But I still keep it because I love the gold sequins and it looks pretty good underneath a shirt where just the neckline shows.

There are others: grey shorts with a weird patch of gold studs (a present) and a basic navy t-shirt are two. These are only ever worn for comfort; on holiday, or a lazy day. This is different from sportswear, which I will obviously keep.

The bottom line is: I still wear all these clothes on a regular basis, so it seems silly to get rid.

The line below the bottom line says that none of these clothes make those special outfits, you know the feeling - the ones which you feel truly great in.

So if I keep these items, I will not be able to achieve the aim I mentioned of being able to choose clothes from my wardrobe blindfolded and be happy to wear them (colour, occasion and weather permitting). But is this aim truly attainable? How ruthless should my ruthless cull be?

And how much money will I need to spend on nice basic t-shirts to replace them?

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Jewellery or Jewelry?

I'm never entirely sure how to spell this beautiful word: jewellery or jewelry? A quick google search confirmed that they're both right, but I think the latter is less likely to be spelt wrong so I'll still with that.

I am not a huge wearer of accessories, in that I love them... but I usually forget to put them on. If I remember to put in my pearl earrings (my favourite ones; they do wonders for the complexion, I tell you!) then they are unlikely to be changed for a couple of months. Then I take them out and I won't wear anything on my ears, apart from the occasional dangle. And I have accumulated plenty of necklaces, plenty trash and also plenty beautiful fine delicate necklaces but I only really ever tend to wear the same one.

For this reason, I was actually hugely suprised when I found some absolutely stunning designs which I wanted to share with you at the large proportion of fashion finds posts dedicated to jewelry. I have taken to tagging my posts and they normally go under the 'j'adore couture' section. I am thinking of creating a 'jewelry, jewellery and other accessories' tag now because of this. I know I shouldn't really be surprised; as I have touched upon, I have indeed amassed a huge collection of jewelry, mostly very cheap but not entirely. My collection needs regular maintainance due to the disorganised system it is currently stored in, and each time I am shocked by the treasures I find and become determined to wear my lovely pieces more. I never do.

Today, however, I happened across the wonderful treasure trove that is the Rachel Leigh Jewelry website after seeing a gorgeous girl on combining two of her favourite passions as well as mine: pearls and bows.Luckily for me, the slightly higher price point means I am unlikely to succumb to temptation and add yet more to my neglected jewelry/jewellery collection. Also, do you think I should add another tag? Do you even USE the tags?

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Under a Ladder

Are you superstitious? One superstition which goes back a long time but still holds a lot of strength is the belief that if you walk under a ladder, you'll get bad luck. But what if you've already got bad luck? What happens then?

Slightly pixellated but still fabby pic from via google images. I hope they don't mind me pinching their picture, in fact if anyone does want me to take their graphic down, just e-mail me.

Anyway I digress.... today I walked under a ladder. I wonder if now my luck will change???

So, in thanks to the lovely ladder which allowed me to hope for a change of luck, here are some beauties I have found on the increasingly addictive etsy (I never got people's addiction until recently) by the ever more symbolic object: a ladder.

This is a charming Swizzlet Ladder Ring

These dangly Dangle Earrings show how many different types of jewelry can be inspired from just one object, other than the predictable necklace.

This Words to Live By necklace is not particularly my style but I adore the concept, and it adds to my reversed idea of the luck ladders can bring; don't they symbolise ambition as well as having the negative superstitious connotations?

And lastly, this adorable painting entitled Ladder to the Moon.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Working with the Weather

So, it's ben established that it's pretty impossible for everybody (not even everybody in the world... everybody in the 'style' continent of the blogosphere) to agree on the important factors when getting dressed. Colour, fit, originality, expressing personality, practicality, price - we're having to agree to disagree entirely. But there's one factor nobody can ignore - the weather.

In the winter, when you've got the perfect outfit: dress with nice back detail, cute belt and then you realise that you have no option but to cover it up, it can totally throw the whole look. Or you co-ordinate your earrings, lipstick and top to some suede shoes and then notice that it's raining. Or if you haven't waxed your legs and it's boiling hot so you have to pull on those unflattering light loose jeans. We've all been there, or at least I like to think that and it's not nice.

Today, as a way of trying to appreciate the beautiful sun I've been wishing for for months in dreary London, I realised that there's a way of making the inconvenient weather work. So, when I felt all hot and bothered yesterday I thought: 'I've been wanting to paint my toenails forever but you can't show them off in the rain,' so I painted them bright red and have been wearing sandals to show them off. And when Winter comes, all too soon, I'm going to remember the fussiness and inconvenience of the heat and how everything has to be loose and light, and I'll wrap myself in the cosiest, most suffocating scarf I can find.

Oh, but wouldn't it be so much easier if I knew the weatherman?

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Hello @ 10:16

Well this time last week, everyone enjoyed my night-time post so I thought I might make it a regular thing... we'll see. I didn't write this at exactly 10:38 but I'm feeling a little run down with hayfever so I'm going to try and have an early night.

-Yep: hayfever. This allergy has been plaguing me for years and I HATE it. I had acupuncture at one point, which was actually majorly fun, very relaxing. But health insurance doesn't cover it any more, I think because it's too unconventional.

-Today was one of the first nice sunny days in London for what feels like years. It was lovely, I didn't do very much at all but for the first time in ages I didn't feel guilty about it either because I don't have to be revising for anything right now. The perfect amount of laziness can be heaven - too much or at the wrong time is the worst thing.

-I never did that post on nautical stripes stuff. I think I'm going to do a nice big clear-out and not dwell on what doesn't suit me, or I don't love. My wardrobe aim in life, I think is not to have some huge extendable wardrobe. I would be sooo happy if there was absolutely nothing in there which I wouldn't be happy having to wear. Does that make sense? I want to be able to get dressed blindfolded and like what I'm wearing, even if it doesn't quite match. If it does match, that's even better, so really I aspire to have a one or two colour wardrobe, like those people interviewed for an article a few months back which was posted on everybody's blog. How awesome would that be???

-I finished 'The God of Small Things' today. It took me a while because around half way I took about 2 or 3 weeks off reading, I was just too tired. Yesterday I got a couple of new books, something which always inspires me to finish my current book because abandoning something I was enjoying always makes me feel so guilty. As to 'The God of Small Things' - well it was phenomenal. I was reading it all of today, it's the type of book where the writer creates a whole new language, so it's so easy to get absorbed. But the second half of the book is really heavy, and the whole non-linear timeline thing with a dollop of foreshadowing makes the sad parts achingly sad.

-I'm not sure if it's just me, but when I'm buying a new book the price always feels more justified when it's thick. Like I wouldn't pay money for an Agatha Christie, they're always library reads because they're so skinny. Although in the bookshop yesterday I saw this amazing collection of Agatha Christies, with these stunning vintage looking covers which fit the murder mystery theme perfectly. So I bought this other murder mystery, 'The Oxford Murders' which will suitably satisfy my inner detective, but the good reviews by the Guardian should hopefully make me feel intellectual enough.

-Wow I'm rambling today. I should really go but this has been fun! I'm still trying to think of an idea for the Waterstone's story on a postcard thing, I had this 'great' idea at one point but it's vanished... I can't remember at all what it's about, only that it involved dandelions and time. Hmmm... it seemed genius at the time.

Oooh one last thing, it's funny I just noticed looking at last week's post, and I said that I might revisist the idea. Then disneyrollergirl wrote that revisiting the idea would be a great idea. I responded going 'great idea, disneyrollergirl! your wish is my command' or something equally featherbrained. Ahhhh I am slowly losing my mind. Oh well it should be entertaining.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

If Hitler Had Been a Hippy...

If Hitler Had Been a Hippy How Happy Would We Be

This is the name of an exhibition currently at the White Cube in Mayfair, displaying the work of Jake & Dinos Chapman... and Hitler.

I loved the name of the exhibition and it was certainly very interesting, although strangely eery to see Adolf Hitler's work and signature right in front of me. There was certainly no glimpse of the terrible acts he would commit in these bland, unobjectionable watercolours.

In another part of the exhibition is a recreation of the burned work 'Hell' by Jake & Dinos Chapman, this time entitled 'Fucking Hell', which contains miniature sculptures of Nazis and holocaust victims. It is accompanied by this poem:

HELL hath no fury
Like a chapman spurned,
So come see the second
'Cos the first one burned.

It's full of gruesome mutilated bodies, but the most powerful image for me was one of a mass of dead bodies surrounded by mini soldiers with swastikas around their arms, and Hitler (or some other Nazi) looking on, standing in front of an easel. He is painting a watercolour of a house.

Some people may morally object to the fact that the artists paid upwards of £100,000 for Hitler's original work, and plan to sell it for a whole lot more. I am not sure what I think about this but I found it extremely worthwhile and thought-provoking and would recommend a visit. It also made me muse on the moral issue of enjoying the work of bad people; Wagner for example, a Nazi sympathiser made great music, but should we be enjoying it? I know it's not directly related because Hitler's art can in no way be seen as exceptional (although I'm not sure I could do it..) but it's an interesting discussion to have.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Satin Super Sexy Skirt

What happened to Topshop? Did someone invade TS HQ and perform a lobotomy on every member of staff? I thought I was the only one to go overboard on alliteration, and since when have skirts from Topshop been so hideously appropriately priced?

Well... they must be doing something right, because it's all sold out!

And yes, I have begun to succumb to my desire for a red skirt to match my red flower print top... I predict a purchase.

Upside Down with my Point-and-Click

I'll make no claims to being a good photographer. And I'm not going to blame it on my point-and-click. I am entirely unable to comprehend depth of focus, any type of focus... well that's the only technical term I can conjure right now, but I do have a decent camera, I just can't use it.

In fact, pretty much any photo I take is going to have to be subjected to the magic wand on the Auto Adjust feature, because I haven't yet mastered flash. But this doesn't stop me from happily snapping away - inanimate objects naturally because I am totally unable to take a decent portrait. Instead of focusing on the technical aspects of photography, I am left to explore with composition and the idea side of it all...

It's startling how different everything looks when it's all above you. Colours and small details start popping.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

I saw it coming...

The SATC merchandise machine is in full swing... Carrie's macbook, high street copies of every single outfit in the film documented in low-life newspapers, and of course, a book!

It looks like the perfect lazy day, coffee table book. And yes, I did buy the Friends book. And yes, I did read it several times.

Photos from Amazon where you can buy it.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

online @

We all know that feeling when you see something that you have absolutely no need for, but you buy it anyway. Sometimes you wear, it sometimes you don't. With online shopping, it's a little different (for me anyway, what about you?) because you can't immediately buy the item. It's on the screen, you have time to think about it, compare with everything else all in the comfort of your own home. For me, there is the added complication of no credit card, so I have to love something enough to borrow somebody else's to pay... find them at a time when they're willing to complete the transaction etc.

I have seen tons of beautiful items on other people's blogs and websites which you can buy on etsy, but I think that babastudioPrague is one of the loveliest etsy shop I have been lucky enough to stumble upon. None of the best pieces are particularly practical at all: silk, small and dressed-up is a combination which does not usually lead to regular wear, so in this respect I am lucky that I found this beautiful shop online.

Anyway, here is a selection of my favourite items in the shop, I hope that someone reading this will have somewhere to carry these lovely little bags:

My favourite is the first one, a structured drawstring bag of Alice in Wonderland!

This is a beautiful shoulder bag - inspired by the fairytale of The Little Mermaid

More Alice... the styling for this bag is great, check it out on the website!

My favourite illustration, Lady Dahlia, this is actually just a simple drawstring pouch but stunning nonetheless.

I love the vibrancy of the blue silk on this one!

There are so many more stunning structured drawstring bags, pouches, wristlets, totes, shoulder-bags, even tarot cards! They do also carry some sweet messenger bags but I think the bags lose their charm with (practical) size.

The Age and Size Issue

Contrary to how it may appear, judging by its title, this post is NOT about ageism or sizism, within the fashion industry or the world. It's about the July issue of British Vogue.

The cover on the left is this month's edition (well, technically July, but released in June) and the one on the right is from July last year. I do not normally read Vogue so wouldn't be aware of this, but last year's July issue is one of the few I do have. So when I saw 'Ageless Style' written across Uma Thurman's skirt whilst in the orthodontist's waiting room, I experienced a feeling of deja vu.

When I got home, I went onto the Vogue website to to check if July had been chosen as the month of Ageless Style, but July 2006 was the month of Summer Loving.

So, it seems that this was a genuine coincidence. But this leads me onto the second issue: size. How skinny have July 2007 and 2008 been? It's like July in the world of Vogue has become stuck in some sort of time warp, and really that is not acceptable.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Matchy Matchy

For some reason, matchy matchy dressing, be it a perfectly colour co-ordinated outfit or a girl look top to toe, has been relegated to the ranks of the unfashionable. 'Cool' peeps are constantly feeling the desire to de-prettify an outfit, or create some funky colour/pattern clashes. This school of thought is certainly more attainable than the finely tuned matchy matchy look, which requires an extremely extensive wardrobe. For that reason, I have often had no choice but to break the traditional fashion rules such as no 'brown with black', and it's naturally so much better to purposefully, stylishly break these rules.

However I am always much more awe-struck by perfectly styled outfits, as I previously featured in my post on the film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg than the admittedly fabulous eclectic mix featured by characters such as Carrie Bradshaw, of Sex and the City. Perhaps it is the lack of attainability that I have already mentioned; yesterday when I wore my new top with a red flower print, red buttons and red belt it looked perfectly fine with jeans, but I was aching to add a red pencil skirt and cardigan, two items I have no need for apart from completing this one outfit.

Anyway, all this is of course simply a matter of individual taste. But it can be an issue for those with the same opinion as me, when most of the modern inspiration around in the form of magazines, films and other media does not conform to the matchy matchy standards which I crave. For this reason, I warmly welcomed the arrival of sometimes funny, sometimes not TV programme Pushing Daisies. Not only is it all filmed in a delightfully bright, slightly retro way, but the outfits of Chuck and the other female characters are hugely entertaining, and fabulously matchy matchy.

The love of the cinematography on Pushing Daisies is in fact so great, that there is a website devoted to thousands of screencaps per episode. There is such a huge amount of screencaps that it was impossible to find the shots of Chuck's best outfits, so I sort of cheated and picked my favourites off other sources, such as the fashion spot forum and pushing daisies blogs. Sorry!

And finally, some wallpaper matching action highly reminiscent of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg going on with my favourite character, the lovely Olive.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Sporting Beauties

I have never particularly enjoyed watching sport, finding it extremely dull. Playing can be great, but watching others do so? However I have spent a fair amount of time watching Wimbledon/Roland Garros due to a family which loves tennis very much. When I read an article likening Roger Federer's tennis playing to art, I began to think: can sport too be beautiful?

After all, one of my interests as mentioned on my blog profile is 'finding beauty in everything'. So far I have documented my discovery of beauty in clothes, films, books, contact lenses and shea butter. But I'm sorry, I simply cannot see beauty in sport.

Sportsmen, on the other hand...

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Hello @ 10:38

This is what I love about this, I used to write my night-time thoughts down on paper then throw them away... this is so much more entertaining for everyone else.

-I've been going to sleep far too late recently. Tonight I aim for lights out at 11. That's not going to happen and tomorrow I'm going to feel it.

-I'm wondering if anyone will take 'pretty face' to mean incredibly vain. Honestly, it was intended in a completely ironic way.

-It's bizarre how people think they 'know' you on the internet. For example: the distress over Style Byte's disappearance. Someone commented that they love how I'm down to earth and honest. Thank you! But seriously where do you see that? I know someone who had a blog for a few months and had an incredibly huge following for a brief period, familiar faces really seemed to like her although she can actually be quite a nasty person sometimes.

-I thought of a great quirk and I knew I would: I haven't eaten chocolate for nearly 2 years, as a test of will-power at first. Now I can't, it's some sort of mental block.

-Do I not suit nautical or am I just unlucky so far with this lovely trend? Hmm... shall write about this in more detail I think.

-Strangely, I've had no caffeine today but I feel wide-awake. Wait, is Diet Coke caffeine free? I never have Diet Coke but I did today. Hmmm.

Was this my least coherent post so far? Or were my 'excited' posts even worse???

My First Tag: Six Quirks

I have been tagged by the lovely enc at Observation Mode! I was very excited, since it was my first ever tag, and for that reason I have been bugging people all day, asking them what they thought my quirks were. I'm not sure I'm very quirky at all, judging by their responses, but here's what I could come up with...

1. I don't have a middle name. Perhaps not so quirky in itself, but I have a huge problem with this fact and is in fact a great source of animosity between me and my parents. My whole life I have been trying to think of a suitable middle name to give myself, although so far nothing seems right.

2. As much as possible, I always the same film twice in a row. In the case of Atonement, I actually did watch the film through once, and then went right back to the beginning, but mostly I give it a couple of days.

3. I used to be a hugely fussy eater. Not so much now, but I still hate butter, and most sandwich sauces. Not very interesting I know...

4. I have alphabetised every single book in my house. I've also categorised them.

5. If I could only bring one thing with me to a desert island, it would have to be Vaseline or some form of lip moisturiser.

6. I have never shaved in my life. But don't worry, I'm not some hairy freak - I use other methods. OK, too much information... what can I say, I'm out of quirks?

Right I think I have sufficiently demonstrated exactly how boring I am... that took me forever. I bet I'll think of something incredibly interesting as soon as I click 'publish post'.

I've always wondered who starts off tags... I have some cool ideas for 'tags' but I'm not sure if some higher being is supposed to start them off or what. It's like God and the universe I suppose, only on a smaller scale.

Anyway, I think I'm supposed to tag three people but I have no idea who hasn't been tagged yet, so if you want to be tagged, just let me know and I'll tag you! Sorry if that's cheating.


I don't even know if that's a real word, but anyway... guess how much this little treasure cost me?

30p! That's, like 60 cents for you American folk. Can you tell I'm happy? There are little stars on the clasp! Woohoo! Who said you can't get bargains in London anymore??