Wednesday, 30 June 2010

this is just to say

This is such a pointless post. I really have absolutely nothing of interest to say. It's just, I have to finish editing/writing the bibliography for this really dry essay and I felt like writing something OTHER THAN THAT but couldn't think of anything at all to say.

I normally suffer from verbal diarrhoea... but this essay, it has a 1000 word limit. And I got really worried because that's pretty low. Normally I write essays double with that and I still struggle to keep my word count down. I thought I was a few hundred words over and so started making it a bit less wordy, when I realised I am actually under the word limit. This is an incredibly unusual situation for me. I have no idea what I am meant to do in this sort of situation.

Except for talk, and talk, while really saying nothing at all.


This Is Just To Say

by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Monday, 28 June 2010


So the company which sent me the free pair of shoes asked me to post up a photo for a competition of a fashionable outfit I designed around the shoes. I was of course happy to oblige with the photo; however, today was the hottest day of the year (apparently) and I simply could not be a**** to get changed. You know how it is when it's hot and sticky and you want as little stuff touching your skin as possible, and if you are afforded the luxury of removing whatever it is touching your skin, you are highly unlikely to want to reclothe yourself.

Never mind; as luck would have it, the clothes I was already wearing I found matched my outfit pretty well.

I painted on some red lippy but then remembered that I'm meant to be blogging anonymously. So try to visualise some red lipstick and these cute little earrings dangling from my earlobes somewhere behind the explosion of light:

I love my Maloles from the Sarenza collection. I have blisters on both my heels the size of coins from the sandals I posted and the soft squidgy leather is a balm to my sore feet.

This isn't a particularly special outfit, so I'd feel bad asking people to vote for me. But I decided to go for this one anyway, because it epitomises my life, my style and my shoes: cuteness, seasonal appropriateness, but above all, comfort.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

shopping the shelves

Today I returned a dress, and bought some books. I always feel there is something inherently superior about buying a book over buying a garment. Books don't make you feel fat, or frivolous, or unsatisfied with what you've got, because you don't have anything which matches the new book. When you buy a book, you feel intellectual, like you've made an investment in something (education? mind? future? general well-being?) and complete, for the time being.

I didn't buy the book I set out with the intention of buying, even though I am sure I will at some point. It looked a bit thin and so I was loathe to spend the money on a hardback, even though the cover is pretty cool. I am curious if anyone has read it yet?

Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis (the yellow casing on the right is sort of translucent, creating a shadow of a devil's silhouette. Suitably creepy)

I acknowledge that I am a sucker for a nice cover. There were some great classic covers on display, but I was again put off by the price, this time because on the back cover I could see they were charging a higher number in pounds than in dollars. Instead, I stuck to homegrown goods with yet another book by Scarlett Thomas. The design may be getting a bit gimicky (see past examples here and here), but I love it nevertheless. I bought this book despite the fact that I didn't enjoy the last one I read quite so much - I am hoping that was because I read what was then her latest book first, and then her first book next (does that make any sense?), so her writing seems to have improved with time. I am hoping this upwards trend will continue with Our Tragic Universe.

In contrast, I am currently nearing the end of a Penguin Classic (Return of the Native), whose cover leaves much to be desired. I'll forgive that, because the story's so great. But it's ironic really, that the story which so far has proved the most durable, has the least durable cover of all.

I really didn't think I was treating the book badly enough to warrant that much damage.

Here's a tip for you if you're not fussed about pristine book covers/your books also end up as above: when you choose a book, have a look through all the copies on display and see if any of the covers are damaged. So far, Waterstones have given me a pound off every damaged book I have bought off them. And when I say damaged, I mean really just a tiny tear or bit of scruffiness.

Said scruffiness. Can you see it? Also, John Steinbeck was hot.

Anyway, there it is, my 'shopping haulage', with a minor difference not normally seen on 'style blogs'. I apologise if all this was incredibly boring to you, because I suppose looking at book covers doesn't provide quite the same inspirational experience that a complete outfit or garment or photograph can. Of course, the words inside matter a lot. I just happen to enjoy the shopping part too.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

hot hot hot

This heat is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I love it. No need to layer or remember an umbrella. Ice lollies and cold drinks in the park. Lying outside with the sun on your arms and legs.

This year I have come to terms with all the negatives. I'll soldier through the mosquito bites nicely adorning my limbs, even the red swollen infected one which radiates heat, and all the other inconveniences of comfort which summertime brings. Because I do love summer.

Summer doesn't love my style, though. It stinks up my clothes with sweat (so I'm too scared to wear the nice ones), makes denim and black burn on my skin, makes wool and cashmere itchily redundant. In other words, 75% of my wardrobe is useless.

I bought this awesome tee I've wanted since January (aha - winter!) last week in the sale but I still haven't worn it because it's just not summer. That's weird, because it is a t-shirt, but it's also delicate and black and macabre.

In the summer, I'm all prep: white DKNY jeans mini-skirts, short short-shorts, breathable cotton polo-necks in pink, white and blue. I thought that's just what I own which works with the weather, but now I'm wondering if maybe it was a subconscious stylistic choice. After all, theoretically this is a summer t-shirt. But for me, it's just not.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

shoe shrines

Whenever I buy or wear a new pair of shoes, I always seem to create a post for them. An entire post, describing the need, the hunt and the acquisition and garnished with a photo or two: it feels like I am making a tribute to a VIP. In a way, I am. Shoes for me are the hardest thing to get; I have big feet which are sensitive to pain and I walk, a lot. So every pair feels like a rare triumph, although in retrospect, I do actually buy a lot of shoes. But they are also the only item of clothing I will wear every single day and I wear them out fast.

So, as I wrote, sometimes my tributes are to shoes re-discovered: example 1, example 2, example 3... or, this winter, all the boots I bought: example 1, example 2, example 3... or just random shoes: example 1, example 2, example 3. See what I mean? Finding these examples took me all of five minutes using the search function on the side of this blog, which has miraculously recently decided to start working again, much to my delight! Anyway, as you can see, I love paying tribute to my shoes.

Then you can imagine my excitement the other week when my lovely mother bought me the most fabulous pair of sandals to finally put an end to my never-ending quest. Or maybe she was just fed up of the smell of my over-heated feet. But when I got home, I found out I had another pair of shoes on my way. The lovely people at Sarenza had offered me a free pair of shoes, and with my affordable footwear difficulties over the years, there was no way I was going to refuse.

So I held out until I could post my two new beauties in tandem. And here they are. And that is all I have to say this time.

African Berry by Clarks (a portion of profits go to charity Soul of Africa)

Zoe pumps by Maloles

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


Look what I found the other day. I was trying to sleep the night before my last exam and was really struggling. But I didn't feel more than usually anxious. Rather, I was hearing this whispering sound which made me feel like I was going mad. Maybe I was anxious? Maybe my stress had metamorphosised into schizophrenia?

Eventually at one in the morning I got out of my bed and began walking in the direction of the 'voices'. I pulled my bedroom blind up and out it flew - a mouth buzzing so quick it was barely visible. I had found it half a day earlier but opened my window and thought it flew out. Then I found another one later that day which vanished when I left the room to find something to catch it with. This photo is of the first moth sighting:

I began wondering after I managed to kill the one AM moth (no, I don't eat meat; yes, I do kill bugs if they were all the same both or not. Google taught me exactly the genre of moth and its chosen prey (thankfully I have completely forgotten all the details) and I began imagining hoard of moths eating at my cotton, cashmere, wool and silk (as I said, I think that's what they eat; I seem to have blanked the specific info out from my memory as some sort of coping mechanism). What if I have an infestation?

When I first looked at this photo I took, I felt only disgust and fear. Luckily, I haven't since sighted another of these animals. Now, a week later, the fear of total invasion slightly abated, I canadmire the precise outline of its 2D shape, the painterly quality of the complementary tones and the symmetry. I got a passport photo taken the other day and I realised for the first time in my life how remarkably unsymmetrical my nose is.

And so the moth became beautiful.

*Yes, I know, my blog post titles are getting totally shit. It's between being really unimaginative or cringeworthy right now - the alternative title I wanted to use originally was 'the fear'

Saturday, 12 June 2010


No, you didn't click on the wrong link; this is A Pretty Face. Actually, I changed the blog name too for all of three hours when I decided that the name didn't work. I can't even remember what I was thinking when I named this blog (I did try to explain it once but that isn't intelligible even to me). But then I realised that life doesn't work like that. You can't go back and pretend the mistakes you've made and you especially can't alter them now if you don't know what to change them too.

If I come up with an idea, maybe I'll change the blog's name to XXX, formerly A Pretty Face. But that's a bit of a mouthful.

For now, this is the blog re-design I mentioned, what, a month ago? Just before life decided to get in the way. The new design is actually a million miles far removed from what it was going to be, and I have a feeling it will undergo a few more tweaks, possibly drastic tweaks.

Can a tweak, by the very nature of the definition, be drastic? I think it demonstrates best what I am doing, though; I am not altering the content or substance of this blog. I'm just re-doing the make up, re-painting the face. Re-prettifying it.

Note: let me know if the colours hurt your eyes, or the font is too big/small for you to read etc etc. We never want to let style get in the way of functionality, do we?

Edit: Sabine at Psynopsis perspicaciously noticed that I'd changed my posting name too - which I clean forgot to mention here. I was starting to feel a bit too big-headed signing myself as 'pretty face'

Friday, 11 June 2010


You guys, I have SO much to write about. It's as if I have been keeping a firmly locked box of colours and just now sprung open the lock, and all the colours have poured out making everything interesting and exciting and beautiful, transforming everything which was before black and white into technicolour.

I currently have three posts in draft (not including this one). Whenever I open up a post to start writing, I write one sentence and then get distracted and move off. By the time I sit back down at the computer there is more to write. This blog has always been about documenting beauty, wherever I see it, which is maybe why there has been less of it lately. Now there is much, much more.

I haven't, to my recollection, posted 'food porn' before. I love eating, I do too much of it, but I am not a foodie. I eat the same things over and over again and my friends and I are all way too tight to ever go to posh restaurants.

But look at the food I was greeted with last night in celebration!

Just look!

How could I not show you that?

Note: The sushi and the duck and the dessert were really good - but as I said, I am not adventurous (read: heart-stoppingly boring) and when I'm sitting down to a meal I just don't feel like banana in my spring rolls and watermelon with my meat. So mainly for me it was just visual stimulation.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


I have just finished a string of incredibly stressful and important exams - I haven't actually mentioned it on my blog; considering how much it bores me, I didn't think it would be the most fascinating piece of information I might have to share.

I came home yesterday feeling better than I have after any other exam. I think it was a combination of it 1) Being my weakest subject, so less pressure and expectation 2) Going so much better than I expected 3) Being my last exam - I really was past caring!

So I was feeling pretty lucky when I went home and received a parcel. It it was a keyring from Ollie & Nic. I was very confused, as I had not ordered anything from there, until I saw the little card that was also in there: an adorable pink A5 card with pink bows all over it. Apparently I came runner-up in a competition, so the keyring was a consolation prize. This year I started entering a lot of these competitions so I can't even remember what the first prize was, so I didn't feel the need to be consoled at all and was completely charmed instead.

I don't count myself as superstitious with all the regular fears of ladders, black cats and mirrors, but for my last two exams I took off the lucky necklace I normally wear because it felt negative. I'm not sure I can describe it - it felt like any positivity it gave me had been worn off by all the difficulties it has had to see me through over the past year and a half - but wearing it made me feel unlucky. But it's all good; I think I've found my new lucky charm.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

very very old

In my ever-continuing quest for shoes to wear, I decided to have a clear-out to determine exactly what I do and do not have.

I ended up throwing away one pair of cheap red plastic ballet flats which were never actually comfortable.

I know, I'm a good clear-outer.

There was one pair of shoes I really struggled over. My grandma bought them for me when I was 11 years old; yes, they are that old. Any sign of where they came from has been erased by wear from the shoe and by time from my memory. I can remember trying them on in a shoe shop in central London, and agonising whether to buy these or another red velvet pair. I can remember they were expensive. But that's it - no concrete details.

Anyway, I stopped wearing them a few years ago when they started pinching my toes a bit too unbearably. The funny thing is, they are white, which you would imagine to be the least durable colour possible, and indeed they are pretty scruffy. They are not, unsurprisingly, particularly fashionable. But I still can't stand to throw them out.

So the other day I need to put some shoes on really quickly, as I was running late. Post clear-out, my old shoes were resting somewhere near the top of the sea of shoes that is my footwear chest. I put them on for the first time in years and actually ended up running in them in an effort to get to my destination on time. It was pretty painful.

But I didn't get any blisters and now somehow the shoes feel a lot bigger. They must have stretched. I am pretty delighted and I'm going to wear and wear and wear them now until they fall apart. Then I'll have to investigate methods of preservation and mummification of very very old shoes.