Saturday, 13 September 2014

random things and guilty pleasures...





This week I watched the whole series of Ladies in London in two days. It's not something I am proud of and I feel like an addict confessing the truth.
Both mesmerised and repelled, I watched the staged fights and goings on of the group with a sense of recognition and distaste.  It is basically the 'Real Housewife' franchise in London, I am not sure why Bravo gave it a different name, as it is exactly the same format.

I live on the periphery of everything that was on the show, from the locations to the events, to the cast.  Even down to the ne'r do well boyfriend Scott (who is claimed to have hidden £400 million from his first wife to avoid an expensive settlement) The ex wife used to go to my gym in Oxford and hung out in the coffee bar with us.  We are loosely connected to most of the characters and plot lines and if I had had a burning ambition, or been even vaguely good at social climbing, I guess I could have been part of this set (not the housewives, the group that they stand for).  But I have a fatal flaw; the inability to 'make the effort' other than with people that I genuinely like and those people are measured only by their kindness and warmth, never by how they look, what is in their bank account or who they might know.

Watch the show here, Marissa would have become a friend, she is kind and open and a bit out of her depth with all the game-playing, but the Bumpkin chain of restaurants, that she was promoting, must have done well out of the show.

It set me to thinking about my strange split life, Wednesday was a meeting with Coutts


To present a new project that I am working on to their private client team

And then on Friday I headed to Albermarle Street to see the Amanda Wakeley SS15 presentation.  With a little more confidence I would have taken loads of pics of the amazing outfits that were the 'street style' of London Fashion Week, but I haven't quite mastered taking pics of strangers.





It was lovely, but today I hung out at the cottage and walked down an empty street, just me and the dogs and from nowhere a 'flutter of butterflies', (yes that really is the collective noun for a group of butterflies) appeared in the middle of the road, they danced around each other forming a constant helix shape. It was utterly beautiful and bought a moment of calm and absolute happiness that touched my soul in a way that a wardrobe full of Hermes bags never would.

In the afternoon we headed off for a Fahrt im Blau, there's not really an English translation of this, it means a journey into the blue, where the outcome is unexpected, unknown, but probably pleasurable.  It has all the connotations of being relaxed with time on your hands and nowhere important to be. Basically those older Sunday drivers who just 'go for a drive'. The husband and I are well and truly in that category now.  We went to Thame, it will be familiar to viewers of Midsommer Murders....




I did splash out at the Chocolaterie...


And found some pretty things at the artisan made boutique 'From'


And so the dichotomy, I am not a Polly Anna character that loves only the wholesome and the natural, there is a side to my character that is attracted to fripperies and  silliness, but I am happier being an observer than a direct participant.  I think I may have found a like-minded soul in muddy stilettos, who comments on country life through the eyes of an urbanite, she blogs around Thame and just the name of the blog was enough to get me hooked!

Do you embrace frippery and fancies or seek out the meaningful and the real, or are you a bit of both like me?



Saturday, 6 September 2014

Back to clothes...

And I sigh inwardly as I write this, but I have done nothing but sit at my desk for the last week.  The dogs plead with me to stay at home as they don't get their long walk when I'm not around.




This blue top is from ZARA and is in the bin end sale for £5.99, apparently powder blue is 'in' for AW14, according to lots of sources, including frills and thrills (this is her montage from Milan fashion week)...







However my biggest fashion critic (critic being the operative word), said that I looked more like this....

The office still has the residual Summer heat, so I need layers.  These jeans are from Hudson (lots here from 99p!)  They are amazing quality loads of elastic and quite thick so they really hold there shape, the jacket is an oldie from ZARA loads of similar here (again from 99p)!
The bag is at least 20 years old from Dior and shoes could be Valentino (if you need specs).





More work outfits....



The top has just landed in Primark, it was about £10 and I liked the fact that it is lower at the back than the front, although it is pure polyester and in 'the residual heat' I just started to feel clammy, One thing that is quite important in workwear is that it helps to maintain your poker face, so visible under arm sweat pools are never a good thing.  When I searched for a silk version on ebay and found over 1000 for less than a fiver, suddenly the Primark deal wasn't such a deal after all.

The black Joseph trousers were from my-wardrobe, they are real classics and I will wear forever, currently EVERYTHING is 70% off, there are some fab bargains to be had.

Be warned though if you go for Joseph, they do not play the 'designer size flattery' game.  These are a 38 (UK 12) and I could have done with going up a size really.

I did escape quickly on one afternoon to welcome a friend who has moved into the village, she is in the most beautiful modern cottage with 360 degree countryside views and a 5 minute walk from us.  
She and her family have moved in to try a bit of Oxfordshire life.  

 I rushed straight from work, blazers and skinnies are a bit of a uniform at the moment, the stripey top was from the bin end ZARA sale and the blazer is old from Mango.  There are loads here for anyone who doesn't have one in their wardrobe already...


Scented roses from Waitrose, the most beautiful supermarket flowers I have seen for a while.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Mend and make do...



'What ARE you doing?' says the husband.  'Updating my wardrobe, it's cheaper than shopping'.

'But you are making holes in them?'

The ripped jeans thing is every where at the moment and I am determined not to buy ANOTHER pair of un-needed jeans that is twice the usual price because of the artfully placed rip.

The jeans are quaking in a pile as the victim is to be chosen.  I plump for a pair of Cavalli jeans from H& M, do you remember that collaboration?  They have always left residual colour on my legs, but I wear them seldom enough to forget and wonder if I have reacted in a strange blue/black way to my regular fake tan.

I'm quite pleased with the result but the husband is still shaking his head saying that he has seen people wearing such jeans but they are all under 25.



I'm too slovenly to change handbags and like the Tory Burch as it is raffia and plastic (and was originally £500, the world's gone mad!) However is it nicely lightweight and doesn't make my shoulders ache.  The open toed boots are fairly old from Burberry, but apparently they are 'in', even though they cripple me.

On Thursday we escaped London for a bit of sanity and school uniform sorting out before THE RETURN.

Everything was looking lush and beautiful from the hydrangeas to the lovely flowers, a gift from Cynthia....


To clematis....

To the mad 'cloud bush' that turns one of the parts of the garden into Narnia...

To the blue flowers...(I know nothing, really nothing about gardening and have no idea about any of this stuff)....
The same can be said about random giant vegetables that we found on our regular walk...


 Scientific size comparison, Miss B is smaller than strange giant vegetable (this does not help with genus classification)


I've been reading Susie Soso and love her style, I can't believe that I have missed her, so this outfit it is a total homage, shameless copycat that I am...
The giant vegetable was like nothing I had ever seen, we walked 5 miles carrying it back for lunch.

When we looked it up online, it turned out, that the yummiest edible bits are actually the leaves, so we had been concentrating on the wrong end.

It is a sugar beet, which according to reviews tastes like sweet mud mmm, just what everyone wanted to accompany their burgers....



This is what it looked cooked, you have to boil it and then fry it, I mixed in some broccoli to try to dilute the sweetness. It was moderately successful.

But noone wanted it for supper, so we went to the local chippie, where I saw this sign which is quite interesting...


Did you know fish and chips are about the healthiest food you can eat?!!

How was your weekend?


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

A festival nowadays...

The music is less Killers and more brass band...



...The refreshment is afternoon tea not kegs of beer...



complete with wonky carrot cake.....



I manned one of the stands in kids corner...


But did escape to check out some of the wheels on display....

The husband isn't one for multiple pics, if we're lucky he takes one and that's our lot (don't zoom in on anything other than the car it is like something from the Walking Dead)


The natives are friendly...


And the refreshments plentiful...