Monday, 30 March 2009

The Infallible Test

Crushes can be excruciating, unrequited love can be soul-tearing. But at the end of the day, fantasy relationships are hormones fuelling your imagination. And eventually the fuel will run out, as long as you stop refuelling.

Anyway, enough with the extended metaphors. The point is that we all get over these one-sided love affairs in the end. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, and occasionally you'll find a character who could be in a book or a film, so mulish is their masochistic resolve to not get over it. To these people, I give this advice: one must first get over themselves before they can get over someone else.

I know that may sound bitchy, but I'm definitely not saying we should all constantly be in this enlightened state. I'd suggest a good couple of months of obsessing over a relationship with no chance is pretty normal, but a good couple of years isn't.

And so for those people, hovering around the couple of months line, I designed a test, which I tried the test. It's so simple, yet infallible.

If you could only ever have one of them, would you choose this ring:

(Opal flower ring by Lydia Courteille, £15,065.00, and yes you can totally sell it)


(insert in the blank face your own crush's face)

A couple of additional notes to make:

-Yes, I am sure, your wonderful crush has a better haircut than this poor faceless guy
-No, if you don't like this particular ring you do not have to use that one in your test. Anything insanely expensive and beautiful will do
-NO, your crush is NOT proposing to you with the ring. You can only choose one.

So, which would you choose? When I knew it was the ring, I knew I was finally free.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

hot pink feet

I'm not sure exactly what's wrong with it, but the arch of my right foot has been incredibly sore this past week. I attributed it to running in ancient cross-trainers, and wearing a pair of entirely unsupportive ballet pumps.

What can I say, any excuse to go shoe shopping.

Anyway, so yesterday I bought a new pair of shoes actually designed for running! My budget was tight, but I still managed to find a pair which are relatively multi-purpose and closer to cross-trainers, which is exactly what I was after. I've still yet to find an aesthetically pleasing pair of sports trainers which don't cost £1,000,000 but the hot pink tick on my new pair helps a little. You can't see it so well in this photo, but it really is hot pink.

So this morning I went running, but my foot is still sore, so that probably wasn't the best idea. Still, I can't stand staying still. So I decided that maybe the shoes I wear the rest of the time are part of the problem and headed off to Covent Garden aka Shoe Heaven. Literally, every other shop there sells shoes, and every fourth shop there is a shoe shop.

After an exhaustive seacrch, I found a comfortable pair of flats which were neither orthopaedic in appearance nor £1,000,000. But one size was a smidgeon too small the size up way too wide. I was on the brink of tears leaving them behind, but what has to be done has to be done. When I got home, however, I Googled the brand (I found the shoes not in the brand shop but a shoe boutique) and guess what, they do half sizes! And guess what else, they do hot pink!

So hopefully soon my feet will be less sore, my shoe collection larger and, of course, much more hot pink.

Friday, 27 March 2009


I've never been particularly good at the quirky accessories; some people just seem to have a knack for piling on three necklaces and a ton of bracelets, sling on a belt, have three ear piercings and wear rings on almost every finger. And I do really like that look, but I'm just not very good at it. So probably 90% of my accessories remain gathering dust in the storage closet.

But recently, in an attempt to do a little bit of dusting, I found a cute little robot charm which I barely remember getting. I had a sort of notion that his eyes looked a little lonely from being left alone for such a long time; who says that robots can't be human?

So I attached him to my happy purple bag, even though the gold hardware on the bag clashed. Such a happy bag was sure to cheer up my robot charm.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Back to posting in parts...

It feels strange to be writing this down, but it appears that I am yet again revising for yet more exams (although this time, for the real thing).

One upside of all that I get to go back to my little sequence of posts about ways to make revision a teensy little bit less hellish. To recap, here's what we've got so far:

OK, I'll admit that some of these are a little far-fetched. But it's better than not revising at all, or not blogging at all. So anyway, here's my latest revision tip.

  • Using fun font when making notes
In this case, I have chosen Burnstown Dam for all my headings. You can't see so much here, but I've also liberally applied my time to bullet-pointing lists, underlining, italicising, boldening, highlighting, enlarging font size. It was a little unexpected just how much you can procrastinate even on a word document, if you've sworn off all other distractions. Oh, the things you can do if you set your mind to it.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


Although it's been a little bit chilly in recent days, there's no denying the fact that spring has well and truly arrived!

And with it, my morning walks have been made all the more beautiful (and noisy... I can hear birds chirping away now at four in the afternoon!). Today, I was picked a lovely bunch of cherry blossoms. I know lots of people say that you should leave them on the trees, but cherry blossoms bloom for so short a time anyway. Within a couple of weeks, the pavements will be carpets of pinks but the trees will be only green. So I say we should enjoy them as fully as we can, in whichever way we wish.

To cement spring's arrival, a new musical is in town (well, it had a short run in another theatre first, and Broadway before that... but relatively new). I was lucky enough to procure free tickets to see a performance of Spring Awakening at the Novello Theatre. I can safely say I'd never before seen anything quite like it. I seem to be experiencing a run of firsts at the theatre recently, first the first tear-jerker, and now my first ever sexually explicit tragicomic rock musical. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has seen anything like that before?

Monday, 23 March 2009

Excuses and more excuses

The dog chewed off my keyboard.

No, a pidgeon flew through the window and stole the PC away.

Actually, I was held at gunpoint and told that if I wrote a post on my blog, they'd shoot.

I thought I'd posted this yesterday but blogger had actually only saved a half-written version as a draft
(no, that one's true).

Recently I just haven't been doing the post a day thing. And there isn't one good reason why; there are lots of bad reasons. But I simply cannot stoop to no posts for three days for a few bad reasons, so instead today I thought I'd share one of those reasons with you.

Yes, I'll agree that it doesn't look too shabby here. In fact, I quite like it. But bear in mind that the stage you see my hair in here is a result of an hour's worth of washing and combing. Everytime I want to wash my hair, I have to give an hour over of my life. Valuable time to chat on the phone, go on Facebook, watch TV... or read, write, work and blog.

About six months ago, I wanted to cut it all off. Immediately I was confronted by a crowd of angry people who threatened to sever our friendship if I took such a step.

So I thought I'd take the opportunity to present you with one of my more time-consuming excuses. Well, it's better than Facebooking and watching TV.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Charming details

Today, I went shopping in search of a book in a foreign language, sportswear and a nice dress. Naturally, I found none of that.

Instead what I found was a long-sleeved t-shirt, something which I rarely find when searching for. All through the winter, I struggled with a couple of bad quality and boring H&M jobs and one over-priced and see-through Topshop one. And as soon as the sun brightened up and the weather turned, my new top decided to show up.

It is indeed a unique specimen of a very rare animal, a long sleeved top costing less than £15, made of thick cotton and a nice cut. But it doesn't stop there. What attracted me to my new top was the charming little details in the design which meant I couldn't leave the shop without it. Uniqlo sells a lot of basics, which are all very well and good and versatile. There are frequent designer collaborations wwith whole collections of dresses, tops etc. But they also have a permanent collection of £12.99 UT T-shirts, with a constantly changing contents of wicked designs by all sorts of designers.

The top I bought today is designed by a team of two: an illustrator called Izuru Aminaka and a stylist, Yoko Omori. And you can so tell with these designs that each one has been thoughtfully created by different and creative people. It's in those charming details.

Friday, 20 March 2009


About a month ago, I noticed a couple of posters in tube stations for something called the 'Red Riding Trilogy' - a trilogy of films shown on Channel 4. The first thing which caught my attention was the impressive cast; it seemed like a game of spot-the-respected-British-actor (David Morrissey, Rebecca Hall, Sean Bean, Maxine Peak, even Michelle Dockery who was in the play I mentioned in my last post).

I never watched them on TV, but today I finally saw that they'd made their way onto 4oD so decided to watch the first one: Red Riding 1974. The dialogue was also spoken in a thick Yorkshire murmer, the cinematography was arty and abstract and often hard to make out, and the plot was moving and sufficiently impossible to understand. In other words, it was very high-brow.

The whole storyline of murder and child abductions is never going to be pleasant, but the murky colour scheme, slow pace, haunting acting and images all contributed to a wholly depressing experience. Still, I am definitely going to see the next one. Despite, or maybe because, of all the doom and gloom, I did feel that there was a lot of beauty in the first film, and I want to see the others. Plus, there is that part of me which thinks that watching all three will provide the answer to the complete mystery of what was going on in the first one (although if past experience of this sort of film is anything to go by... that's not going to happen). If any of you lovely readers are feeling a little too cheery, if you feel that the spring in your step is starting to annoy your friends, I highly recommend it.

However, once you're done with that, you'll need something to lift your spirits. For that, I'd recommend a heart-warming dose of Orangutan Diaries (on the BBC). A few friends had been raving about this programme, and then I saw a separate article about an orangutan hospital. As this Daily Mail article claims that it is the only orangutan hospital in the world, I have to assume that the TV programme and article are referring to the same thing. Either way, how cute???

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


There have been plenty of films which have made me cry. I have been weeping buckets whilst watching House on TV an embarrassing number of times. Some of my favourite books have had me smudging the inks on their tragic pages. In fact, the other day, I found myself getting emotional as I listened to a song on the walk to school.

However one thing which had yet to make me cry was a play. I absolutely love seeing plays, and see as many of them as I can; in the past three weeks I have seen four separate productions. Most plays tend to be pretty sad for some reason, but having never been moved to tears by one, I wondered if I just hadn't seen one effective enough. Or if the inauthentic surroundings to the performance of a theatre meant that I couldn't get quite sucked in enough to be moved to tears.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, this all changed. I had a couple of free tickets to see Burnt by the Sun at the National Theatre. I almost didn't go because everyone was inconviently otherwise occupied. But I did manage to go, and boy am I glad I did. There was all the other stuff you expect from a good play: a history lesson, a thought-provoking plot, stunning set design and fine acting. Together, I was moved to tears.

I don't mean to sound like I'm being paid to advertise stuff, but I have an uncanny knack for doing it anyway - I don't do all the advertising I get asked to do anyway either. So yes, if you can get to the Southbank, and tickets aren't already sold out (which they should really be), book tickets, now!

(plus there were some hot celebrities there too. Oh, I'm so cultured...)

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

a lot of little

On the occasions that I have visited Paris, I have always marvelled at how everybody in France is not morbidly obese. With all that bread, butter and oil in crepes, waffles, baguettes, frites, croissants... I know I would be.

Apparently, their secret is to eat a little bit of everything. They allow themselves any indulgent 'bad' food, but once they have tasted it, that's it. It makes sense, I suppose. When you're not eating for hunger, which is normally when you're putting on weight, you're eating for the taste. And one bite tastes just as good as twenty.

I have never been like that. I am not a fan of hugely unhealthy foods; they make me feel uncomfortable and queasy. Popcorn may taste nice, but the feeling afterwards is anything but. However one thing I do do is eat, and eat, and eat. I have been known to consume five portions of plain rice, one after the other.

But I am not happy with the way I eat. It's not nice to look at a slice of cake and immediately see warning signs flashing in front of me. Or getting so full on 'healthy' foods and never even tasting the indulgent stuff.

I haven't consumed chocolate for around two years - I've lost count, it's either two years next month or three years next month. It was a sort of test of willpower, to see if I could do it; I don't like chocolate that much so I wondered if I could cut out something which is really the bane of so many people's diets. I didn't find it hard at all, and now 2-3 years later the thought of having some chocolate somehow scares me. It's weird and I definitely don't understand it, and would probably need 2-3 years of psychoanalysis to get to the bottom of it.

But I do know that it's something to do with my issue with 'bad' foods and my lack of attention to portion sizes. Last Friday, seriously enjoying a wonderful slice of cake, I wondered about the results of turning to a more French way of eating. I know I'll never be able to completely resist unhealthy temptations, but if I'm eating smaller amounts the whole day round, there's nothing wrong with that.

So I have set myself a limit of one portion per meal, for seven days. So far, Monday and Tuesday have gone wonderfully. Yesterday, I enjoyed a small handful of toffee popcorn and looked far less green around the gills than my less portion-aware counterparts. Today I had two digestive biscuits and no guilt at all.

I don't think I'm quite ready for chocolate yet. But how gorgeous are these cupcakes from Cakeadoodledoo - cupcake heaven in Devon??

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Capturing wings

Most people I know seem to instantly regress into hysterical toddlers at the sight of a bee or a wasp. But I, although I have been stung once or twice, am only fascinated by them.

Almost a year ago now, I posted a couple of photos which were the product of a photoshoot with a bee. Another one of those photos is currently the header for my blog.

Back then, I was assured by an anonymous commenter that this was a female bee, contrary to what I had thought (tangent: I was so fascinated by who it was with such extensive knowledge of bees who'd found my blog that I then disabled the anonymous commenter function). Now yesterday, when a winged creature of epic proportions made an appearance in exactly the same spot, I still don't know if it's a bee or a wasp. But I was still fascinated by it, and quickly whipped the camera out.

It also reminded me of when, a few years ago, I was shocked to spy the biggest dragonfly I had ever seen in a country as un-tropical as England, resting at my kitchen window.

And today, in continuance of my bright style mood, I decided to wear my dragonfly brooch, which I continue to love despite it having a broken wing.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Pink, red and purple

I have been in a bright mood lately. As the weeks race past and spring has begun, life seems unusually full of possibilities. Even if I haven't slept very much, energy levels feel higher than normal.

And, in reflection, I seem to be becoming more and more attracted to my favourite bright, cheerful, girly colours: pink and purple and (with today being Red Nose Day) the obligatory splash of red.

I actually first noticed this colour scheme a couple of weeks ago when the new series of BBC drama Mistresses, a highly unrealistic and indulgent look at the ridiculously dramatic love lifes of four friends. One of the characters, Jessica ('Style File' here), who is the most fashion-conscious, has been wearing some lovely pink and purple ensembles which reminded me that for once, I actually have the items which could complete a similar look. So out came the deep pink naiks, gorgeous new bag, bright pink t-shirt over purple vest, and purple skirt. I could have added some purple tights, pink shoes and my cardigan which would have perfectly matched my nails. But that may have just been going slightly overboard.

Then there's the card I was making from 9PM to 12AM, when in my sleep-deprived state I was drawn to the pinkest possible shades. Out came pink file paper, floral light pink fabric, shiny red card, rose tissue paper, magenta beads, purple sequins, lilac paper, pink thread, red stars, glitter. In my mind, pinks and reds and purples are not weak, silly or effeminate. They are strong, passionate and beautiful.

On this blog you can find proof of the power of these colours. Shopping experience has even provided me with evidence of the therapeutic qualities of pink. Red lipstick is proven to beautify the palest, driest lips. Purple... with a beautiful bag in this royal shade, what's not to like?

The lovely birthday girl for whom I made this card and took out in this outfit isn't even that into pink, but it seems that I am.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

For now...

I have all these fabulous post ideas, and absolutely no time! I have a total of five fully formulated post ideas just waiting to be written, and never enough time to do so. It's exasperating! OK, I admit, maybe it has a little something to do with Desperate Housewives taking priority over blogging, but you know, same difference...

However it would simply be plain rude not to pass on yesterday's lovely award given to me by blogger Zmaga. So, here it is, a token of fabulousness to all the wonderful bloggers who are much less lazy than I:

The stunning Sally at Already Pretty
The super Sarah at Or False Glitter
The lovely LLG at LibertyLondonGirl
The wonderful Winona at Daddy Likey
The creative Clothes Horse at The Clothes Horse
(I did try to think of a better adjective for the stunning, super, lovely, wonderful writer of The Clothes Horse and even considered using her first name but alas it is the same initial anyway so it doesn't really solve any problems. But all the fabulous bloggers are equally fabulous so...)

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

a delight

I was just about to resign today to skipping out a day's post. I've been doing that a lot lately, and it makes me feel sort of sad not to see any regularity or neatness in my blog archive. But then I've never been a particularly neat person, and I can never get things quite in line.

Luckily, the absolutely lovely Zmaga at has awarded me with a beautiful blog award. It has delighted me every time I receive one of these, and so I am looking forward to passing this award on to 5 more delightful bloggers. Maybe the reason these awards are such a delight is because one of the best things about this blog is the insightful and fun comments I get from readers. Every time I get a new reader, who comments and contributes, it's even better. For them to present me with such a fabulous award as this... well, what a delight!

Thanks, Zmaga!

So would you please excuse me if I delay the passing on of this pleasure for a couple more days. It's really late now, because I've been so busy trying to correct the millions of small and imperfect mistakes I have made on my little sister's birthday card. I told you I could never get things quite right.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


With yet another Vogue Paris gift, I am well aware that I am being spoiled!

It seems that in France they're more into the themes than here in England, with a whole issue dedicated to Chanel and a supplement entirely dedicated to enfants - children!

From front to back page, the supplement is filled only with pictures of adorable childen (they left the ugly ones out...); even the ads are all baby designer fashion ads. Of course they are incredibly cute, and some of the mini-shoots are refreshingly unique and did I mention, they are sooo cute??

But once I got over the initial awwwws and oooohs and aaahs I wondered if maybe this whole thing was a little bit disturbing. One thing which struck me was the actual presence of designer clothes for kids; children grow so fast, the clothes are so expensive, plus there's the whole angle of dressing them up like dolls or using them as status symbols. Even if that last point is going a little OTT, the concept of it to me seems completely effete.

There was also an article about celebrity kids, with a whole page dedicated to Suri Cruise and then another to other 'cool' celeb kids. I haven't actually got round to tackling the article yet, so my point may be exactly theirs and completely pointless. But again, something about this really disturbed me. Famous toddlers? Isn't that a step too far?

Worst of all, however, was this incredibly creepy advertisement for Almax.

Note: please excuse temporary awful phone camera quality, must remember to charge camera...

Sunday, 8 March 2009

a hot-water bottle novel

Today, despite the gloomy weather, I felt an urge for a nice solitary walk; not in the mood for a run, not in the mood for company. I had a bit of money to spend, a receipt from a book I bought a couple of weeks ago but hadn't redeemed on my Waterstones card and a World Book Day voucher stolen from my little sister. I wanted some pale pink nail polish. I really fancied one of those delicious stuffed peppers a nearby cafe sells.

So I passed the morning in the nearest Waterstones branch, where I found a 10 feet tall pile of books I wanted to buy. Of course I soon remember that I have a 20 feet tall reading list at home, so I was restrained enough to only make one purchase: John Steinbeck's East of Eden. It was the only copy and a little damaged, so on top of my WBD voucher and card, I got another £1 off. Doesn't book shopping sometimes seem more fun than the actual act of reading?

Anyway, after perusing several shops and concluding that I don't actually want pale pink nail polish at all, I braved the cold for a walk back home. After a lovely stuffed pepper lunch on the way, I hadn't expected the weather to have got any worse, but now it was pouring with rain. I spent the rest of the journey back half-running, trying to keep my hood up, my fingers covered my bags from getting wet on the inside.

When I got home I decided to search online for the other book I had almost bought, by the great grand-daughter of Charles Dickens. Without remembering the book title or her first name, it was almost impossible to search for a novel by a person called Dickens who isn't Charles. In addition, this book has been out of print for around 80 years and only recently re-published so it was even harder to find. Eventually I found the novel: Mariana by Monica Dickens. It was published by a company called Persephone Books which ' reprints forgotten classics by twentieth-century (mostly women) writers'. In the bookshop, I was intrigued by this premise and the charming description of Mariana's life, but East of Eden worked out a little cheaper so I decided that this could wait.

Now I have read the description written by Persephone Books (you can buy it from them too, here) I am all the more fascinated. It sounds just right after the heavy string of writing I have recently been reading, and what's more, it is described as 'a 'hot-water bottle' novel, one to curl up with on the sofa on a wet Sunday afternoon'.

This is definitely now on my 'to-buy' list, and i'm not too worried about missing out on it today, since I'm sure London has plenty more wet Sunday afternoons in store.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Lucky Charm

I don't come from a particularly spiritual background, and I'm not at all superstitious in the broken mirrors sense. However my mother has always been superstitious and I like not to ignore my spiritual side.

When I was much younger and sitting various exams, I would always wear the same white shirt, which had metal buckles and made me feel very snazzy. It served me well although now I'm older and it doesn't really fit anymore, nor do I find it particularly snazzy.

But now, with the new onslaught of tests, I decided I wanted a new lucky charm. My lovely mother came forward with a beautiful necklace of hers. I asked where it came from, and she couldn't remember the name, but she told me it was a company run by two women. One of them is the business manager, whilst the other designs. Apparently, the designer is very much into the spiritual aspect of life; horoscopes, astrology, that type of thing. In fact, she is so entirely separate from the material world that without her partner she would never be able to run any sort of business.

I found this story quite sweet, and it seemed to add a lucky element to my charm. Of course, there's no telling yet if it actually worked or not... but how could something so pretty not work?

Friday, 6 March 2009

Your scent

Do you have a signature scent? Or do you like to have a selection? Do you mix different perfumes or stick to one? Fruity or floral?

My current perfume is this Chanel, although at times it feels a little too grown-up. So I'm going to buy a new one, but have no idea where to start...

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Over to you

This is part II to my recent ode to my wardrobe.

Every person with style, by the very nature of it, has a different style. This marked difference is delightful for me, and I'm sure for plenty of other people like me who enjoy looking at nice outfits. Take just a few of my favourite dressers on my blogroll (a good example would be Lady Melbourne, Susie Bubble and Odi et Amo) and you will see how good style can manifest itself in such different forms. But we all knew that already; variety is the spice of life, isn't it? After all, Oscar Wilde coined it when he said that 'fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months'. Trends are boring, only style is enduring.

I mentioned yesterday how getting dressed in the morning felt much harder when my wardrobe was in a state. I couldn't find the clothes I was looking for. Rumpled and ugly, nothing appealed. I would tend to wear whichever clothes were still out, strewn across a chair. A special occasion calling for something a bit fancier would invite panic as I, quite literally, had to empty my entire wardrobe to find something and then go through the tiresome process of piling everything back in.

Now, the hanging part of my wardrobe has clothes organised in matching combinations. This is not only pleasing to the eye, but invites new outfit ideas. The rest is so much more organised and generally tidy so that I can see everything in there. Folding and stacking all my stuff, there were things which I was beginning to forget I still had.

My shoes are still in an awful disorganised mess, which means it can take forever to find the pair I had originally wanted to wear. I often simply don't have that time, which is why outfits can often be much more thrown-together than if I had a Carrie Bradshaw-esque walk-in wardrobe. I was led to wondering, if the state of my clothing storage has such an impact on my style, if something similar happens to other people.

I began to wonder if the different styles of people I admire translate to different clothes storage. Having read the blog and stylediary of two of the examples I mentioned above, I have seen that both bloggers have (in the past, I don't know about now) pretty much as different methods of storage as styles. Susie has occasionally provided a peek into her absolutely packed wardrobes, which contrasts heavily with Kokopuff's closet. So we can see that different storage methods don't impede personal style, but perhaps they do impact it.

But what about a changing state of storage? I know that the tidy current state of my wardrobe won't be lasting long. In the meantime, I'll dream about organising my accessories drawer and my shoes.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Armoir Organisation

This weekend, whilst on a self-imposed ban from Facebook and staring blankly at the walls wasting my time, I finally got round to tidying up the out-of-control mess that is my wardrobe. Other than boredom, this process was born mainly out of necessity, as getting dressed in the morning was beginning to be a little difficult and even to impede on my dress sense (but more on that tomorrow, in the slightly more text-based follow-up to this post).

However whilst tidying up, I began to marvel at the beauty of my wardrobe, the piece of furniture itself, not the clothes inside it. Of course, it's not hard to beat my previous clothes storage system, which comprised of four plastic baskets which weren't even located in my bedroom. But there's a vintage charm to my current armoir which makes any problems with not enough space, or not being able to close unimportant.

I love the unfinished white paint of the wardrobe, which was bought off eBay and had to be smashed apart, reassembled and re-painted in order to transport it.

I love the quirky little labels which are completely inappropriate to my modern day usage of the storage space. I love the hanging room it provides for clothes I want to show off.

Would it be wrong to love one's wardrobe more than they loved the clothes inside?

Next I will be thinking about the possible effects a person's clothing storage system might have on their style, or vice versa. For now, I'd love to see the wardrobes of all you gorgeous bloggers! Call it the nosy side in me, but consider yourself tagged (yes, ALL of you).

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Value for money.

The high street often seems to find it perfectly acceptable to charge high prices for not very much at all. Add a few beads or a strip of lace to a simple t-shirt and it can cost anything upwards of £40. Take some cheap metal and plastic, call it a necklace and charge £30. I have been looking for a new leather day bag since the strap on my old one broke. Everywhere I look, it appears to be perfectly acceptable to charge £50 for a fake leather bag, which seems to me to be insanely overpriced. I want real leather, which looks better, is better for the environment and feels better but I do not have a limitless budget.

So I was delighted to find that the sale is still going at Ollie&Nic, where I picked up this beautiful new tote:
I love the bright colour, which works perfectly with my dark wardrobe of greys, blacks and navy. The lining is a lovely chandelier print which matches the cover of the book I am currently reading perfectly - yes I know, inconsequential, but I'll take a photo tomorrow to prove to you how charming a selling point it really is. It comes with a free purse, and extra strap so that it can also be worn across the body. It's real leather, and only £50 down from £165. And, essentially, it's big. I needed a new bag because all my nice ones were too small, apart from the broken one, a couple of cotton totes and a rucksack.

I didn't quite realise how big this bag was when I bought it. Not only is it big, it's also pretty heavy. Toting it around today, my shoulder did ache a little - although of course I could always switch carrying methods thanks to the different options. Still, I know I just need to get used to it, or maybe just carry around lighter crap. Either way, I definitely feel like I got value for money with this weight purchase.