Tuesday, 29 December 2009

material difference

Yesterday, bored, I decided to go to the cinema. It was a toss-up between Avatar, which everyone who sees it says it is amazing, but which looks quite dull to me, and Sherlock Holmes, which didn't seem particularly good.

It turned out the rest of the world was bored too as Avatar was sold out, so we went for Sherlock Holmes. I have always had a soft spot for a mystery anyway, especially one featuring the detective Holmes. The cinema was so full that we had to sit so far forward that by the end of the film my neck was feeling rather strange. But I managed to forget all my discomforts as to my complete surprise I found myself thoroughly enjoying it. It's so fun, funny, clever and slick. I would definitely recommend it.

I came away feeling immersed in the world of the Victorians. Since, I've been revisited Conan Doyle's mysteries and even delving into some Poe. I am also really feeling a desire for some velvet or tweed, which Rachel McAdams was dressed in to play Holmes' criminal love interest, Irene Adler.

As per usual, Urban Outfitters has come up trumps (I got some amazing jeans from there a couple of days ago and haven't taken them off since) on a search for both TWEED and VELVET. But again, I have to make a choice. Silence + Noise is a great brand and all their stuff is on sale at UO right now. This includes a gorgeous short biker jacket, which is available in both tweed and velvet! That's fate, right? I've only tried the velvet one on but I have wanted a tweed jacket forever, yet a blazer has always seemed to prissy.

The tweed. The velvet isn't on the site. Just imagine this in black velour with metal shiny zips.

Which would you go for?

Friday, 25 December 2009

the cake that made christmas

I am not a Christian. But that doesn't stop me, and plenty of other people I know from loving the festivity of Christmas and really getting into it. I have a Jewish friend who went to Midnight Mass this year!

There's so much else to get excited about. The snow, the time off to relax, the films on TV, the PRESENTS (whoever says they don't care about presents is lying...) and of course, post-Christmas, the sales. The amazing lunch.

This year a cake made Christmas for me. It was a gift from a very talented baker who owns an amazing cake shop (whose name I cannot embarrassingly remember; it is on South Kensington High Street and the cakes are spectacular).

How AMAZING is that (I know that was the third time I wrote 'amazing' in this post, but it completely is)? Magical, marvellous, magnificent. There's Jesus inside, a Snowman on the side, Santa round back and delicious biscuits on the roof! Truthfully, the snow is a bit too sugary. Quite apt, actually; I've really come to dislike snow over the past week and all the things it's stopped me from doing. I haven't started on the walls yet. It's almost too beautiful to eat.

Happy Christmas! How has your festive season been? What has made it for you?

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

sooo busy

I am sooooo sorry I haven't had a chance to post; I have been soooooo busy doing sooooo many things.

Yeah right!

In actual fact, I have been pretty much snowed in. So it's not really my fault that I've managed to plow through, since Friday, an entire series of Heroes. My one saving grace is that it is season two, which due to the 2007 Writers' Strike is only eleven episodes long. Still, eleven episodes, plus the alternate episode ending on the special features disc, in five days (I had to check my calendar just now to see which day it was - that's what the holidays does to you!) is still pretty impressive in my opinion.

So yes, I have been extremely occupied. Sort of.

The truth is, I am not imaginative to find something to post about when I am sitting back enjoying unadulterated escapism. The only other active presence in my life right now: last-minute present shopping, which I also can't post about here for obvious reasons!

This is my life. Exciting, huh?

Watching a hero watching a villain

Sunday, 20 December 2009

girl with glasses

I don't feel very me right now.

There's the new haircut, which I love. And then yesterday, I picked up my new glasses.

I still haven't had any photos taken of me since all these changes, so I took some. My skin looks awful in all of them. I feel so bad for all those people who get acne more than once a month. People with perfect skin always, feel bad for us lesser mortals!

Still, if I mess with the contrast once I have uploaded the photos, I sort of look alright. Like a completely different person, but spot-free. I look so different anyway.

Can you tell that the brightness has been adjusted a lot?

On top of that, I'm feeling remarkably serene. And I went for a run in the snow today. Who has abducted old me???

Saturday, 19 December 2009

a serious splash on something you won't see

A couple of months ago I was a little bit slimmer post-Summer than I am now mid-Snow. I felt body confident enough to go bra shopping. We all know how depressing bra shopping can be for one's body image, but I felt brave enough.

Nevertheless, I still came away feeling down. The only bra which I felt truly fitted great had been the most expensive, by far. Several others with similar colours, shapes, straps, sizes and padding and lower prices were all somehow wrong.

Today I went in a shopping search for a party dress. I hate clothes shopping this close to the sales so I stuck to the rails already on sale. I found plenty of gorgeous scarves, shirts, jumpers, even lovely daytime dresses, but every dress that looked nice on the hanger was a failure on. It doesn't help when you want a velvet dress that your budget restricts you to thin, stretchy ones which make you look pregnant: pot belly and legs bulging with water retention.

I decided to look for a bra. My bra. It's false economy, I decided, to buy a dress the same price as the bra which I will wear once. Better to buy the undergarment which will make the overgarments I already own look good. Having made this decision, I got angry then infuriated as I was unable to find it.

One different shopping venue an hour away later, I tried it on. Actually, I took three other alternatives into the changing room and tried them all on first, hoping that one of them would look great. They didn't.

Thus runs the (abbreviated) story of how I came to spend £35 on a t-shirt bra. I don't feel guilty; I earned the money and I spent the same I would have on a rubbish sale party dress. Still, my mother's reaction was that I was being completely ridiculous; but she hasn't seen the bra yet.

And she doesn't know how it makes me feel; how it is the first bra I have bought not just because of comfort, not just because it minimises the boobs, not just because it stops them from moving when I run, not just because it's a pretty colour, not just because it fits well. It's all of those things! I know most people object to spending more on something people can't see as you stroll down the street than the bag you carry on your shoulder. It's no status symbol or style statement. But I still think it's worth spending on, because of how it makes me feel. I'm interested to hear what you think; do you spend more money on what others can see, or on what is personal to only you - not just underwear (obviously a lot of lingerie is not meant to be just for the owner) but a book, a new set of headphones, a dressing gown, a nice pen?

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

keen christmas

Normally, the wait for Christmas seems to drag on forever. This year, on the other hand, Christmas seems to have snuck up on me from behind and pounced, nine days too early.

Today really did feel like Christmas.

The only sufficient way to describe the level of cold today (degrees celsius not being of any consequence here, of course) to any girl interested in fashion is the fact that I wore a fleece. Yes, you read right, my deeply unstylish normally relegated the confines of house or tent, navy blue Berghaus fleece. That's how cold it was.

Oh, and also, it snowed. White Christmas!

I had Christmas dinner, complete with little green balls I didn't recognise. Part of my brain wondered 'what's this?', the mouth part me of popped one in before promptly spitting it out. Normally I wouldn't be so unladylike, but I feel that maybe this one occasion is acceptable seeing as it was after all my Formal Introduction to Brussel Sprouts.

According to the townsfolk of Who-ville (whom I watched today), Christmas isn't about the presents. Still, it did feel like the only thing lacking from today was presents. I was surprised and overly squeely when presented with this gift bag:

Super posh bath salts. I am not really into luxurious bathing, but I found that Christmas springing itself upon me so unexpectedly had taken a lot out of me, my hair still smelt over-whelmingly of product from yesterday's haircut and the added stress of a family member's accident and waiting for news all induced me to try out my new present.

Now I really have to go; late-night present wrapping for Secret Santa tomorrow calls. Doesn't feel much like Christmas anymore.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009


I'll keep this short.

(Very short)

Today I played a fun game over lunch!

Tea, tomato soup and tequila is a combination I have never tried before, but it's surprisingly nice.

(Fortunately) I had to leave pretty early as I had a haircut booked. I ran for the bus. Left my pashmina on the bus. Got there on time. Requested haircut.

I probably drank my drinks in a slightly more alcoholic ratio than I had originally thought. I now have short hair.

(Very short).

I love it!

(Also loving the tag for this post - 'beauty potions')

Sunday, 13 December 2009


Yesterday I had an optician's appointment to discuss switching from daily contact lenses, which are nauseatingly expensive, to two-weeklies. The optician had the samples laid out ready and waiting for me and everything.

She asked if I have any allergies.

Erm, terminal hayfever. Oh, and about a month ago I developed another super-fan allergy to cats. Seriously sad stuff. Anyway, what were you saying?

You need to check under my eyelids? Um.. fine. Woaaah... yellow stain eyedrops! OK, I think I can deal. You may need to just splash the drops onto my closed eyes for a bit though until some of the stain gets in.

That wasn't too bad. So, what's the verdict?

WHAT? You are touching my eyes... I'm OK, I'm breathing, NO I'M NOT URGH OH MY GOD I CAN'T DEAL WITH THIS MY EYELID IS INSIDE OUT.

I know you said you were going to check under my lids But I didn't realise this is what you meant.

Phew, oh my eye still feels funny, but it's over, I lived, I never have to do that again. I can't believe some people choose to do this as a party tricks.

What???? My other eye???? Please, no, you've already seen one isn't that enough, please have mercy, I am begging you....

I am pretty sure the trauma that followed really was not necessary as my optician had already decided that I was not suitable for two-weekly lenses because the build-up under my right eyelid wasn't healthy. But of course, we had to conclude that the same was true for my left eyelid.

The hazy details of the rest of the day can probably be blamed on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Such advanced PTSD that I can't remember what my new glasses look like. Yes, that's right, new glasses! To compensate for my reduced ability to wear contacts frequently and my worsening eyesight, which completely sucks. All I can remember is that the new glasses do not suck; they are beautiful and tortoiseshell and a little bit subtle and a little bit in your face and whoever said you can't treat stress with treats wasn't getting the right treats.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

so much...

For everlasting serenity.

I have been too embarrassed to pluck up the courage to post this last week.

I failed abysmally at the unruffled calm thing I was going on about.

I even failed to keep the things I lost unfound, finding every single thing I was talking about here the day after I wrote about losing them. Even in my successes I find failure!

I went shopping alone again today, which did not bear the fruit of any furry gilets, but a couple of botched christmas presents which I am convinced the recipients will hate.

I failed all of the above in the most comfortable leggings known to womankind.

Hence why I was too embarrassed to post.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Lost property

Everywhere I go, I seem to leave bits of me behind.

The city is strewn with lost umbrellas, a great proportion of which are probably mine.

I bet at least one of those is mine.

My wardrobe is still black cardigan-less.

Every single pashmina I own, has left and returned to my possession at least once. It's uncanny; my scarves really are like carrier pigeons, leaving my neck cold for a few days before showing up, hanging on a hook in my form room, draped on the radiator in a random classroom, once I found a pashmina atop a hedge on the way to school.

Sadly I am not so lucky with essential study supplies, in the past month having lost my pencil case, this weekend being unable to find my Maths textbook and today realising that I have left an important folder behind at some point today.

It's somewhat dangerous, then perhaps, that I am currently in possession of three sets of tickets; one in the book I am reading, one in the other book I stopped reading, and oh shit I just realised I have no idea where the third ticket is.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

shopping in the dark

Today I had 50 minutes to myself in Covent Garden. It was dark, it was raining, I was alone.

First stop: M&S for an umbrella. I lost two umbrellas in one day a couple of weeks ago, and my beloved huge one was too broken to go any longer.

After that, what followed was possibly the best shopping I have ever done. I knew what I wanted to get, but there was also nobody else there to insist on going in here, and here, ooh and here to spend that gift card they still have, so I had time to enter whichever shop took my fancy too.

I came away with a christmas present, some lip balm and a lovely new jumper from a cute boutique called Red Rockin' Robin. Now on my wishlist is one of their gorgeous fake fur gilets. I'm going back, by myself.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


I barely recognise myself. I don't understand what the hell has come over me.

By standard terms, I have had a weekend from hell. Metaphorical rejection has been rife, even if nobody has said 'no', I have been uninvited to THREE events, not chosen as the winner for a competition which was important to me, and watched my unrequited love drift further and further out of reach into the arms of another girl. I know that all sounds incredibly melodramatic but let me tell you now: it is all completely true and unexaggerated. I can write all this down in plain undisguised facts because, quite simply, I am fine.

Of course, writing that last paragraph out, I would be lying if I said I didn't feel little twangs of something which I can't quite put my finger on, but which isn't nice. But the main thing is that I haven't collapsed into tears. Tears which I am not bottling up because I am experiencing the weirdest sensation of not caring. Yes, I did write a wonderfully affirming post on this last Tuesday, but continuing in the spirit of total honesty, it didn't make much difference. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday's shitness were all just self-denyingly so.

Then on Saturday I got a film out from the library, one which had been intriguing me for a while but which I haven't got round to seeing because the blurb always seemed depressing, something I definitely DON'T need. And not depressing in a usefully detached from reality way, either, but real truthful depressing. But I watched it anyway. How wrong was I?????

Again I am going to border on melodramatic histrionics in just a moment, but I don't care. THIS FILM SPOKE TO ME. Everything it said about the ultimate search in life being for meaning and happiness all directly linked to beauty is exactly what I believe. With that in mind, how much more uplifting could the message be that beauty is everywhere? Even in plastic bags floating in the wind?

Even in a girl who is insecure and wants a boob job, even in a girl who has never had sex?

Even in a middle-aged man who has lost everything?

Everywhere. So logic must conclude that my life must be simply bursting with beauty and it doesn't matter that I have been rejected a few times. There is no point putting on a fake front; 'In order to be successful, one must project an image of success at all times' is completely untrue and a lie in itself.

But even if that train of thought is somewhat logical, I still can't explain how I got the essential message which really uplifted me. I'm walking around with a feeling of 'stop thinking; everything is going to be fine in the end' which has come from a film where things really turn out the complete opposite of fine.

That's just what I heard when I watched the film. Does this ever happen to you? Have there been moments when you have been struggling a bit and then something completely unexpected which doesn't make much sense comes and changes things?

I just thought you might like an update, and maybe even a suggestion if you have found yourself feeling as I have described, or experiencing what I have, two categories which I am 100% sure every single person on the planet would fit into both of.

PS: By the way, in this little essay I bashed out instead of my coursework, I forgot to mention the film's name. American Beauty if you hadn't already worked that out.