Friday, 31 July 2009

off to bed; goodbye July

I am absolutely cream crackered, as they say in Cockney Rhyming Slang.

I am so sorry for my more than slightly intermittent posting.

I am even more sorry, probably more for me than for you, dear readers (I could not presume that it were upsetting to you if I posted less; only that I know it upsets me), because I cannot see August's post count improving particularly.

I am barely at home right now, but that ends next week (yay!) with the end of my temporary work.

I am, after that, going to not be at home at all, apart from a brief weekend during which

I am particularly excited about going to see the new Time Traveler's Wife movie.

I am guilty for the fact that I have scheduled no posts for these internet breaks, as I did last year when I was a much better blogger.

I am not sure that even in September will my post count be even better, as I will be thrust into newness and hard work.

I am feeling even more cream crackered just thinking about all this.

I am off to bed; goodbye July.

Edit: I left this reply on Zmaga's blog, which I thought might be a useful addition to this post. Sorry for my vagueness last night, what can I say; my mind works much more lucidly on 13 hours of sleep:

And don't worry; I was only saying goodbye July, and that my posting will continue intermittently as it is right now; you haven't got rid of me quite yet.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


Note: I know it's now two posts since the post I promised to follow up but I have been so busy that I have not yet had time to formulate and activate my plan.

PLUS, I could never have predicted this post yesterday, before my friend showed up with my fabulously generous (as well as a little late, as usual) birthday present.

I was truly spoilt, with a perfect patent blue belt and cute little hair tie.

Since these days I am pretty much perpetually pony-tailed (sorry, couldn't resist the allure of alliteration there...) part I of this present was not only generous but thoughtful. You can get your own here.

Similarly, the belt seemed made for me, elevating the slightly yawn-ey work outfit I was planning of grey trousers, white shirt perfectly. Even better: it matches the hair-tie.

The grand finale did not match. But did I care? God no; I don't know if I've still even got round to admiring the necklace itself as I am still marvelling over the adorableness of the packaging it came in. I had complained that last year I hadn't had a single present to open, as none of them were surprises so no-one bothered, and jokingly said that she should wrap my present twice. Lo and behold: a beautiful necklace, wrapped thrice.

In a perfectly serendipitious cycle, this stunner which I had only stopped to admire a couple of months ago - something my friend didn't even know when choosing the necklace yesterday! - is made by the same company that I got her a pair of earrings from on her birthday, 1928, which I posted about back then, here (and then got myself a pair of earrings, and posted about them, here).

So generous. I know people always say how much nicer it is to give gifts than receive, and I agree that giving a present warms the heart. But actually, so does receiving a lovely generous present, not just for the glee of tearing apart the wrapping paper (so much fun!) or for the pleasure derived from the gift itself (even more fun!!) but because it demonstrates the reciprocal kindness and generosity of friendship.

I hope that doesn't come across as 'buying someone's friendship' or 'investing' in someone because the pay-off will be worth it. That's really not what I mean. I mean generosity just because giving someone more than they expect (not necessarily gifts, but anything, as long as it isn't insults...) demonstrates beautifully how much you care for them.

That is why I was just a little bit disappointed by some of the other, or excuses for, or lack of presents which I got before yesterday. I told myself I wouldn't allow this to come into my post, that it would make me sound embittered and materialistic, but I can't help it. But that is also why I decided to get over myself, and instead of being all bitter, I presented one of those friends with generosity in the form of a small job which was mentioned to me but which I couldn't do. You never know, maybe now this friend has more money they'll buy me loads and loads of presents. (Alert: JOKE!)

Monday, 27 July 2009

thicko interlude: word(s) of the day

With those ideal daily commutes and no exams or revision on the horizon, now is the perfect time for me for reading. As such a serendipitious life balance is rare for me, I took the opportunity to try to 'challenge' myself with more 'challenging' books. I was most recently lured in by William Faulker's The Wild Palms, perhaps by the presence of my favourite word on the blurb: 'a novel in which elemental danger is juxtaposed with fatal injuries of the spirit' - a word which I have written essays on and which thus makes me feel important and clever for understanding its meaning.

I didn't start off too badly, although perhaps the warning bells should have started to ring as soon as two 'challenging' adverbs were juxtaposed within the first sentence: 'The knocking sounded again, at once discreet and peremptory...'. Still, it was only once I entered the second chapter that the words I didn't recognise began to build like brambles and twigs on a forest floor, forcing me to pause, side-step the words, jump over the gaps, examine them for a familiar root.

I began to make a list, because the words were accumulating with such speed that I would have spent more time reading the dictionary than The Wild Palms if I tackled them one by one. At work, I discovered that is another rare website which is not blocked; I would work through the list, copying down the meanings next to the words, hoping that this would cement them in my memory. More often than not I come to the same word a chapter or so later, only to recognise it but find that I have forgotten its meaning.

Currently I am just under halfway through the book. In some ways I am proud of my journey; I am always looking to expand my vocabulary, even if I tend to prefer to do a word a day rather than twenty, and I definitely think that the words which Faulkner likes to use multiple times will remain in my personal vocabulary.

Examples of these repeat performances include: catafulque, skiff, abrogate, annealing, effigy, husbandry, incorrigble. I am serious; all the above words have appeared twice if not more within the first half of the novel. Some of the wonderfully wordy one-offs include: preprandial, adumbrate, obfuscation, equableness, apotheosis - words which if I ever see written down again I doubt I will do anything but feel that irritating sense of recognising, but not quite recalling, and reach for the nearest dictionary yet again.

Admit it: at least one of those had you stumped, right?

Saturday, 25 July 2009

red shift

To start with, I have no idea why I am thinking about physics right now. Thinking about a title for a post about changing style, red shift was the first thing which popped into my head. I suppose it only serves to illustrate how I, as a person, am definitely different to my former physics-abhorring self.

Today I got a haircut. As my blog records inform me, the first haircut in 13 months. Nothing drastic; there is very little I can do with my hair if I want to maintain any semblance of control over it without having to straighten, blow-dry or otherwise treat it to within an inch of its life. I am not exaggerating. The woman who cut my hair said that if I want to do anything with it apart from what I normally do, she suggests getting a Keratin treatment first (costing upwards of £200, although mine would be around £300, and according to this Google search link is potentially fatal...).

Anyway, although it was not a drastic cut, my hair now feels much healthier and overall less disgusting. This was the first step I decided to take after glancing at myself in the mirror on Thursday at work. I am now a lot happier with my feelings towards my body as a whole, thanks to some well-advised make-up/eyebrow-plucking and exercise. But as I found my eyes defocusing from my actual self for the first time, I noticed the frizzy mess that was my hair. Quickly tying it back into a prim and proper bun, securing it with twenty clips, my eyes travelled down. What was I thinking pairing that cardigan with that skirt, with that shirt??

I remembered how that morning, in a scramble to leave the house on time, I had had no time to wash or even arrange my hair. Stepping out of the door, it was colder than I thought and went for the first option which would not interfere with the line of my puffed sleeves, without a thought for how it clashed horribly with the skirt, in colour and style.

I realised that now, as I spend more time on grooming and exercising and working, everything else about my style is slowly descending into scruffiness. Yesterday, the alarm woke me up 20 minutes late and I spent the next half an hour making and eating porridge for myself instead of getting dressed. I changed into my outfit five minutes before running out the door, an outfit which I hated for the rest of the day as well as the evening I spent in it.

Not wearing the perfect outfit every day is not exactly the worst crime, I know, but I don't like it one bit. And today, I went to begin to tidy up the mess that is my wardrobe; as I seem to be entirely incapable of keeping it tidy on a regular basis, I have to go for the blitz-tidy approach every few months, as documented here. According to this post from 4 months ago, there seems to be a direct correlation between my attitude towards my clothes and the organisational state of my wardrobe. But I don't think that's the problem this time. I think that I am just moving too much into no-style-land. That doesn't mean tracksuits and wolf fleeces and Crocs; that would be bad style. No, what I am referring to is a shift towards the non-descript basic cardigan, the block colour t-shirt, the jeans. Now I know that is a look which some people can rock, but I am not one of them.

So that is two things so far which I have addressed in this post: hair and t-shirts. The first one I have already addressed, and the second I will now, as I am going to not only tidy my wardrobe but have a mini-clearout, throwing out the most offensively inoffensive tees.

But (and I fully realise how awfully over-dramatic this sounds) that is only the beginning of my attempt to reverse the effects of my style shift, or at least shift the shift in a direction which I feel happier with. Still, I doubt many of you are still reading (and those of you who are, well done!) and I haven't yet fully formulated part III of my plan.

So I am going to label this post as posting in parts, and promise you that I will be back, to write the 2nd post, and to my stylish self.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


Struggling to get through the week of work, and still not having spent my first pay cheque (on anything other than food, drink and travel - oh and a book which is basically as necessary if not more...) last Thursday I did a tour of the fabulous design shops right next to where I work.

The first present I will present in this post was thus a gift I gave myself, an owl necklace of the exact same colours and length I had been feeling were missing from my wardrobe. The adorable design was merely a fabulous coincidence.

I was going to post a link to the website but turns out this was the only item of jewellery not to feature on their online shop (trust me to go for it!). I'm not going to disclose the name of the independent design shop I got this from. They currently only have one location and I do not want to expose my own working location to the realms of the internet. Actually that is part of the reason why I was so happy with my present; it is like a souvenir of my summer. If any of you are still desperate (!) to know where it's from, just send me an e-mail and I'm more than happy to spread the fabulousness.

My next gift didn't come on my birthday either. Well, I have already told you all about that. Anyway, soon after I decided to keep my digital camera, a gorgeous accompaniment in the form of a camera case arrived which solidified my decision. How could you not love a camera encased in this starry Cath Kidston beauty?

Especially when you can sling it on your shoulder and carry it around with no effort, so that you begin to notice things like the boat emerging from the wall in the puddles you have tried to avoid before as you perch, reading your new book.

Apart from that I don't actually have too many presents to present this year, as on the whole, all year round, the majority of my friends are exceedingly skint/tight (you decide) and the remainder are perpetually late. Of course, that doesn't include one of my best friends: my sister, who seems to have inherited the punctual gene in an even stronger form than myself. She purchased my lovely new bracelet and matching earrings a whole month ago.

This here is the bracelet. I haven't taken a picture of the earring, but if you want to envisage the shade, imagine a pair of flowers the same colour as 1kg dumbbells. I wore them yesterday to my first ever aerobics workout, and that is what my wonderful and camp instructor noted. Note: if I was using the pink 1kg dumbbells, then why the hell are my muscles so sore???

Sunday, 19 July 2009


There seems to be a common misconception that week-end means that the week is over. That it is time to relax, stop working, rest (and maybe party a little).

If my week-end has been anything to go by, oh how wrong that is.

After a long tired week at work, made barely sufferable by frequent visits to the coffee machine and lunch-time bouts of retail therapy - more on that later - I was excited for my birthday week-end, and the four day week that would follow as I signed off work for Monday. In some ways, this week-end has warranted excitement.

Today I ran Race for Life in a time so short that I am seriously doubting whether the big timer at the finish line had a fault. Seriously, I am not being self-deprecating. I have never run 5k in less than 30 minutes, let alone 20. Even my i-Pod playlist throws doubt upon this good news.

Bursting with a two and three-year old's excitement about a surprise birthday present, my parents convinced me to open my surprise birthday present two days before my birthday. I struggled to conceal my shock, disappointment, guilt and finally did a total u-turn. The battery for my new digital camera is charging as I type.

'It's hard being your age, isn't it?' my mum said, in a rare moment of tenderness, or maybe sarcasm. 'Well; I'm not going to suffer for much longer then, am I?'. Although I don't think weeks, week-ends or days off will ever let you glide through life too easily.

Or maybe that's just the depressing films and books talking. Gleeful at the prospect of three whole days without work, I took a film out of the library, snuggled into bed with a book, and had the luxury of time allowing me to finish both. Unfortunate, then, that my book and film choices were Beloved and Wendy & Lucy respectively.

Michelle Williams starring in feel-good flick of the year Wendy & Lucy

There's nothing like slavery and homelessness to cheer you right up.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

photo rant

So I'm not going to go into the very long rant which I so easily could about the media, female body images, celebrity and unattainable perfection. I'm sure you've heard it all before.

More to the point, I really don't need to use any words when this week's Heat cover (scan courtesy of Perez Hilton) says it all.

Stinking hypocrisy. So sad.

Friday, 17 July 2009

beautiful people

There is a woman I have seen, only in pictures - still or moving. She is the actress Marion Cotillard.

Beautiful, she has a fabulous figure, impeccable style, Oscar-winning talent and that French accent. Although Hollywood doesn't exactly have room for ugly women, when Marion Cotillard is on screen, I never seem to be able to tear my eyes away from her face.

I have never met her, but something about her smile, her eyes, makes her beautiful in the way that normally only people you know and care for are.

There is a man who has sat next to or opposite me on the tube several times. I do not know his name; only the stations he lives and works near, the books he reads, that he smells neither like alcohol, B.O. or overpowering perfume but wonderfully clean (I have to assume that I don't smell too bad either, which is why he opts to sit next to a confirmed hygienic).

Beautiful, he is tall and stunningly well dressed; he wears gladiator sandals, checked trousers, glsases, a trench coat, and a fabulous quiff (oh my god, he's a better version of me!). When I'm not absorbed by my book and when no-one standing in between the rows of seats is blocking my 'view', I just can't help stealing stares.

Before I discovered the manifold benefits of sitting in the last carriage, before I began my daily commute, I had never seen him before. We have not exchanged a word. Yet this man has a face which I am attracted to for I feel like I've seen before.

I have a feeling that I may have seen his photo either in a photo from a London blog like Sarah Edwina Rose's. Or maybe even on the Sartorialist.

Yes, he is that beautiful.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


Things are different.

Finishing school and exams, going on holiday, starting a job. With the basic ingredients of life having changed, everything else which is still the same in so many ways, is different.

I am still running. Now, instead of a chore I force myself to do, it feels like an escape. I speed up as my feet hurt, when before I would slow down. I am still reading books. Except now it is more like devouring them. I get on the last carriage of the tube so that I can get a seat; if I don't, I'll read standing up. Hours of concentrated absorption into fantasy worlds instead of ten minute snatches as I drift to sleep.

Text messages are a lifeline for a lonely teen who is famished for Facebook (especially when a guy you like broke his phone). With the subtle change of being locked off the internet for over eight hours a day, typing into the wee hours no longer feels extravagant.

Instead of staring at a blank word document or lined sheet of paper, I notice little things I would love to write down as I input endless data into spreadsheets. The man looking out of the window, dabbing his eyes with a tissue (he just came back from holiday, does he miss it?). The bored person who is taking personality quizzes on the BBC website (about the only interesting unblocked website).

But, as I have said, it's all still sort of the same, isn't it? Apart from the basic changes in my routine I'm still waking, eating, travelling, working, eating, working, travelling, resting.

I only bought two new shirts for work, about a month before I started - as I have already documented. I won't bore you with the whats, whys and wherefores of how two weeks in I have still bought nothing new. But somehow, with a couple of shirts and a pair of trousers (rolled up twice for leg length adjustments) and black pumps on loan, I have got through it without yet wearing the same outfit twice.

It really does seem that with a couple of basic ingredients altered, only slightly, everything becomes completely different.

In this case, jeans are swapped for a pair of grey trousers. Cue: endless new possibilities. Or maybe I just way under-utilise my wardrobe.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Recently I have watched two films which seemed similar to me in style, that kind of dramady small-budget indie film with big names (actors) and charm. A big similarity which struck me was how ridiculous both of their plots sound written down.

In order to raise the tuition to send her young son to private school, a mom starts an unusual business -- a biohazard removal/crime scene clean-up service -- with her unreliable sister. |

This first synopsis is from Sunshine Cleaning which I saw at the cinema a couple of weeks ago. Produced by the same company as Little Miss Sunshine, I have heard that it is a lesser version of the same film, but not having seen Little Miss Sunshine I can't comment on that. I can only say that it was a sweet, charming film which had you leaving the cinema with a feeling of positivity.

I was slightly later on the bandwagon with the DVD of Lars and the Real Girl, whose synopsis is probably even more wacky-sounding.

A delusional young guy strikes up an unconventional relationship with a doll he finds on the Internet.

Despite their different plots, the films were so strikingly similar to me. Essentially, both share the same messages about retaining your individuality, family love and relationships, and fully entering and living life. I wondered if this was a co-incidence, or because these themes and messages are so prevalent, that they were shared by two films which are also similar in all the more superficial stylistic ways too.

I think possibly it's because when making these 'dramadies', you need the basic ingedients of humour and warmth. As is so potently demonstrated when I watched the special feature on the Lars DVD entitled 'A Real Leading Lady':

My favourite part, which had me totally in love with Ryan Gosling (along with the great body which was so sadly hidden in the frumpy outfits of the film):

Off-screen Interviewer: I really wanna know from Bianca why this film, why this project...

Ryan Gosling: (chewing gum)

(nodding, looking at Bianca) Oh (laughs) that's funny.

She says that, um, working with me really was what drew her to the project and that she can't really describe it, something like that, working with me is sort of so undescribable, it's only she could liken it maybe to what it would be like to watch a unicorn being born or something like that

Thursday, 9 July 2009


Work is getting much better, and strangely enough I have managed to wear four completely different outfits this week without buying a single new item of clothing. I did visit the French Connection sale yesterday and there were a couple of nice skirts I might get this weekend... with my first pay-cheque!

When they asked me whether I wanted to be paid in cash or cheque, cheque sounded so much more glamorous, grown-up, exciting. I only realised a few minutes later than cash would have been way more practical as I'm only going to have to go to the bank and cash the cheque now. Well, it's nice to know that working in an office hasn't completely wiped out my daydreamy lack of common sense.

There is no example of that better than the photos I had been taking daily of my work outfits to share with you all (and prove how silly my NOTHING TO WEAR moment was). Whenever I move photos from camera to phone, I always click the option 'replace existing file with the same name'. Only now, seeing that I only have one outfit photo, do I realise that I was infact deleting photos with the same code name, which are completely different photos. It actually makes me quite sad to think of how many pictures I have probably lost over the years without even realising.

(I was going to post the one outfit picture I do have but I now notice that my mirror is disgustingly filthy and anyway, I have posted the dress and cardigan I was wearing on this blog before.).

Anyway, I just hope I don't make any common sense errors like that tomorrow. I have been alright so far; maybe it's the business clothes making me sensible. So, we'll see how I fare in jeans on dress-down Friday...

Tuesday, 7 July 2009


life is more different than even i imagined working full-time in london. by that i mean, everything is different.

travelling is a whole different species. a hot, crowded, rush to the last carriage if you want any hope of a seat, rush-hour species. you see the same guy in the same carriage with the same piercing blue eyes twice, because now your travelling is regular.

the weather is different. i am permanently cold at my desk by the air-con, and shivering in the streets at lunch-time in the lashing rain with my broken but easy to carry umbrella. the weather forecast becomes all important.

90% of my wardrobe looks at me, neglected and forlorn. after a couple of weeks of heavy wear as i do little more than lazing around, my casual clothes slump sadly. the previously insignificant holes in my cardigans and fallen hems now scream for a needle and thread. black ballerinas replace bronze birkenstocks.

even boredom is different. now it is about twiddling thumbs, frequent visits to the water machine and toilet. i have progressed in my current book by hundreds of pages. what can i say; the internet is blocked.

long, long hours. i work throughout, interesting work, not too hard nor too easy nor too titillating. but work which consumes time. as hours slip through my fingers, i find only room enough for short pauses. i find myself making lists, lists, more lists, to tick off as soon as i get a chance to breath a full, long breathe. i have probably spent enough time making to-do lists to have completed ten lists.

eating habits, drinking habits, walking habits, exercising habits, sleeping habits, tv watching habits. none of them have escaped unscathed.

i am two days in. 23 to go (including 1.93 days of entitlement to paid holiday).

Sunday, 5 July 2009

hello @ 22.37

Well I am off now for a relatively early night. It is ridiculous how I so often notice how much better I feel on lots of sleep, yet I still insist on staying up late. I decided not to go out tonight, which is good as at about ten o'clock I realised OH MY GOD I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR TOMORROW!!!

The skirt I was going to wear is too short.

The dress I could wear had an unravelled hem. Too late to start sewing.

Another dress was too pretty to wear on the first day.

(I didn't ever say I was being particularly rational, people).

I have no see-through tights (and black would be too hot) so I don't want to wear any of my dresses.

An old pair of black trousers, too small. An even older pair of black trousers, too big.

You get the picture. Eventually, my wonder-mother brought out a pair of grey trousers she bought quite recently so are not too big on me, and as they are the more current skinny cut can easily be folded up to combat my short legs problem. Yes they are a little wintery but they are also awesome and mean that I can wear my stripy blue shirt. I'm thinking I might have to do some travelling in my lunch break and buy some tights. Then Wednesday I'll probably venture even further afield after work to buy a whole new wardrobe. Because I have NOTHING TO WEAR.

work in progress

Note: the following post makes multiple references to this other post, which I would normally link to in the relevant places but I don't like linking the same page multiple times.

So, I start my office job tomorrow. Over the past few weeks I have attempted on numerous occasions to build a work wardrobe, with only partial success.

I have managed to buy a couple of work shirts from Uniqlo at an absolutely bargainous price (£25 for the two put together!). Last week in the baking heat I was concerned that I would be way too hot for these on the journey on the tube, especially as they are quite see-through so require a little vest underneath. But it's getting cooler, so I think these shirts and a couple of my smarter currently owned tops will get my upper body through. And then I should still be able to wear them come autumn in jeans, if I'm not thoroughly sick of them yet.

Shoe-wise, I have mentioned numerous times before that I 100% prioritise comfort. Thus, I no longer have any work-suitable shoes after throwing out all my toe-pinching pumps a couple of months back.So I did go out and buy these comfortable, beautiful lovelies a few days ago, before realising that they are synthetic. I am not going to pay £50 for a pair of fake leather shoes*. They are going back. My mother has kindly given me her black Hobbs pumps which are perfectly lovely in an Audrey Hepburn-esque way. It is merely a question of how long I will last with them before I die of boredom.

Sold out now in black, you can buy these over-priced pleather but pretty shoes here in red, taupe, purple or pink

But it is on the bottom half at which I have failed abysmally. I already have a few suitable skirts so ignored all the lovely skirty items I passed whilst shopping (although I did buy a pair of see-through tights which completely died when I walked home barefoot on a night out, and have not since been replaced. Oops). Instead I tried on trouser upon trouser upon trouser, none of which fit right.

I suppose I should have guessed that, what with all the tailoring that goes into a pair of trousers, a well-fitted pair for less than a million pounds should be impossible to find. Only I thought this challenge would be relatively easy, as when I did a web search a couple of weeks ago, there were plenty of options. And I always had the back-up of a pair of trousers which my mother also offered to lend me. Well, now I am trouser-less and my mother's trousers are way too long; we are the same height but she has longer legs. A miserable situation on the trouser front all round, I'd say.

So, I start my office job tomorrow. I have my NI number, passport, a map from the station to office and another map from my office to the nearest shop where I can return the shoes. I have some shirts, and some dresses, a skirt or two and one pair of shoes. I have no tights, no trousers, no waistcoat. Ah well, it's no fun if you're completely prepared, is it?

*on a side note, a commenter mentioned the other day that they preferred pleather to leather from an environmental point of view. Firstly, I find that leather is longer lasting and more comfortable than pleather. Secondly, I will own pleather shoes if necessary, but as they cost less to make stuff from, I entirely expect to pay less, which is why I am so shocked at the sky-high prices places like Urban Outfitters and Kurt Geiger charge for their pleather. I suppose it's all relative though, what with the money they charge for real leather. And thirdly, I am well aware of the environmental effects of cow rearing and for that reason do not eat beef. However the manufacturing of pleather is in fact far worse for the environment than leather, and since I am not a fan of canvas shoes (smelly, not-waterproof, they rub...) I will stick to leather as the better quality and more environmentally friendly option. Oops, that was a long side note.

Friday, 3 July 2009

new year's

People often like to think of the New Year as an opportunity to change, to turn over a new leaf. I have never particularly subscribed to the gym, WeightWatchers and smoking support group subscribing masses come January, but that does not mean that I am not up for a change.

For me, it seems to have been a new year for myself, as my birthday approaches at the end of this month, that heralds change. A couple of these changes are quite big: I am giving up a lazy summer for a new job come Monday, I have sort of maybe decided that I will be starting a new school in September.

Some of these changes are more gradual. Since I have started this blog I have slowly watched myself become less interested in certain things, more interested in others (although my love for bags remains immovable). Shopping has taken a back seat; running, which I started for the first time many months ago, is finally, finally coming to the fore. In the past 6 days I have run on three separate occasions. That is a landmark, a first time. I am proud.

Of course, there are changes which I am less proud of, born, I believe, of these accepted changes I just mentioned. Sewing, style is currently not a top priority and exercise is. This morning, I travelled a bus journey at 8AM in tracksuit bottoms. My mother, when she saw me later, was shocked; 'you would want to kill me when I wore those to pick you up a couple of years ago!'.

After proclaiming only recently that I am uninterested in make-up, I have noticed myself buying an awful lot of it. Today's acquisition: shimmery silver eyeshadow. I won't pretend I don't love it. But I also can't pretend that it's particularly practical, office appropriate, and that I'll be wearing it too often.

Thus, as I have said, not everything changes. Even as a young teen, I have always had an obsession with avoiding pleather (synthetic leather); whilst all my friends paraded their cute H&M bags, I stuck to canvas... and then, blew all my cash on leather. Yesterday, I bought a cute pair of pumps only to realise that they are synthetic. They are going back ASAP. Plus, the fact that shopping even occurred, albeit with purchases which will be returned, shows that shopping is only riding in the back seat very temporarily.

Do you consciously make resolutions to change certain things about your lifestyle, or personal style? Do you do this in January or at other, more personal, times of the year? Or do you just find yourself evolving, and embrace it/devolving, and disguise it? Do you find that certain things will never change?