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...

Monday, 25 August 2014

Pucci in Diagon Alley


A couple of weeks ago we spent a weekend in Taunton at a cricket festival. I managed to sneak out and bought this lovely Pucci skirt from a second hand shop call 'The Birdcage'



The top came from Primark, there are loads of colours and at £5, it has a very nice feeling of silk and cotton, although I guess it is pure polyester.  I'm working on the 'trainers with everything' look, but not successfully, as evidenced here.  This jacket has been kicking around for years, it is from H & M and came in the sale in a 'buy one get one free offer', I think that I paid £14.99 and got another one in brown too.

The weekend in Taunton was lovely and it is true about West Country people being kind and gentle, I haven't felt as 'looked after' for years.


J K Rowling must have visited Taunton for the inspiration for Diagon Alley, there is a secret little hidden away row of shops called Bath Place.  It is almost hidden from view from the main high street...


The sign welcomes you to a shopping curiosity....


 Through the archway you see this....
It stretches for a few hundred metres, all independent shops, with lots of home made food and pretty things...
A little further down I spotted this beautiful mini Georgian house, a little proud, but not large enough to be arrogantly grand....


This is the view over the shops from the balcony (the shop on the right is The Birdcage)...

I couldn't imagine a more idyllic life for a single lady of a certain age than to run a little interior design or home made cake shop and live in this house with a couple of whippets.  If the dream appeals to anyone else the house is for sale here.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Free stuff vs clothes....





Regulars will know that I am not big on 'new clothes'. I have a bank account with a debit card which is kind of a black hole.

I just keep handing the card over and do a sharp inhalation of breath as the machine asks for my pin and then exhale with relief when it goes through.  At some point the card stops working, I work some more (or if I'm lucky the husband might contribute), pay it all off and so it begins again.

That's the closest that I have got to debt, I know I am lucky.

Some people are living with student debts (too old for that), multiple credit cards (too disorganised to ever consider a credit card), negative equity or God forbid the Wonga style loans with 1600% APR.  I can't imagine what that must feel like and I do wonder if the blog-world contributes to the feeling that we should be shop, shop, shopping all of the time, buying a lifestyle rather than living it.

I was reading some of my blog favourites and even the ones who used to blog about the small things, the lovely little bits of their lives that are nothing to do with shopping and 'stuff' seem to be gravitating towards only material things and shopping.

And I am as guilty as anyone, I have been marking the passing of time with a quick photo in the morning of my outfit and not really bothering to photograph all of the beautiful things that I see during the day.

This blog started as a means of getting 'Boutique Bootcamp' as the number one Google ranking in natural search and then turned into an interactive diary with a social outlet for chatting to interesting people.  But now it is just a catalogue of what's in my wardrobe.

This is where I am a bit torn, I do like the 'clothes posts' from other people and I suppose we are defined (to a degree) by what's on our backs, so to an extent 'the outfit' gives us a snapshot allowing us to make a quick decision as to whether they are a potential blog companion.
But when it is just the clothes, I think I am going to hold back and not write the post.

I don't want to contribute to someone buying anything ever (not that I would flatter myself thinking anyone would go for my outfits, generally they are a cautionary tale). I still can't quite understand why we all read about each other's lives, but we do,  and shouldn't we make an effort to show that the best stuff, money can't buy?

It was Sian from Blond Polka Dots, that set my mind thinking about this, I loved the images of the deserted beach where she lives, it calmed my soul and made me realise how beautiful the UK is.  I liked her cardigans, but I was more minded to hop on a train and visit the coast, than I was to shop at Hush.

I would love to hear your thoughts (and for a final little bit of irony, I bought the T shirt from my-wardrobe, first piece of 'new/non-sale' clothing for years, on removing the 'my-tag', making it non-refundable, I tore a massive hole in it. Someone is trying to tell me something!)

Some non-shopping stuff from the Summer...this was one of those photos that where I wasn't sure if I was in it, so am hedging my bets with a weird facial expression.
The BIG news (and reason for the pic) is Miss B could be up the duff, either real or phantom, she is showing all the signs. Since she is clearly a tart we don't know who is to blame and await the outcome with interest, if any one would be interested in a Shih Tzu/mystery cross please let me know!

We have invested in some outdoor woodburners to keep the bar b q-ing season a little longer.  The rationale being that it is quite romantic and a couple of stoves are still cheaper than a single night out at a restaurant so if we get 8 extra evenings outside it is a worthwhile investment.


The veg patch was never a thing of beauty, totally my fault since all I planted were some potatoes that had been under the sink too long and had started to grow shoots.  After 10 weeks in the ground this is what we got.......



It was quite exciting hunting them out as they seem to grow totally randomly in the ground, not directly under the leaves.  And the odd thing is they came out like this, I didn't wash them, the soil was so dry in the hot weather that it just dusted off.

And the best bit of the Summer, was all of the friends that the kids made on holiday, we have been on 'Bonjour' terms for years, but this Summer something happened, they started talking to each other, playing beach games and the older ones went out on boats and went CLUBBING....God I feel old!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Farewell Matches hello my-wardrobe...

I normally get my kicks fantasy shopping at Matches, last season I loved the pretty florals and girlie looks that they made so beautiful with their flawless photography.

But this season something has changed, is this how fashion works?  I am finding my usual pretty things a bit too twee and the clean lines and ripped jeans of my-wardrobe.com are beckoning.


Is it all of the 'off-duty model' and blogger pics that have finally crept into my psyche and make it ok to wear jeans, a baseball top and converse trainers without looking like I am a professional dog-walker?







It may just be because life is so chaotic I am drawn to the pristine presentation of the garments and the manageable selection of stock, I want ALL of it, I love how everything works with everything else on the site.  And I like the fact that it is committed to what it offers, the emails from some of the other online fashion guys are so varied that it is like they suffer from multiple personality disorder.

This is one story from my-wardrobe that caught my eye, I would wear ANY of it....


Anyone who reads regularly will know that I love Ebay, but I am beginning to see that mixing and matching can be OK (particularly if you are blessed with a better style eye than mine).  But in the main, if EVERY part of the outfit predates 2000, the whole look will be a bit dated.  I invested in a few statement necklaces last year, including a J Crew one (what a waste) they suddenly look clumsy and a bit child-like and plasticky next to the Phoebe Coleman and Aurelie Biedermann pieces.

The Zoe Karssen Tee that I bought in the sale was a a winner (the design shrinks my shoulders and makes me one size smaller on top) so I have updated my own wardrobe with this little beauty.
(I really DID buy this, it wasn't a freebie in return for the post, unfortunately there is so much bribery around it is tricky to work out the real fans from the pros!)

This is me trying a my-wardrobe.com 'look' for a few days.  Interestingly comments were mixed, my friends (mainly female) liked it and could see the difference from my usual attire, but my husband HATED it and said I looked old trying to be young.  This is quite typical though and like most men he resists anything new and out of the ordinary, once he has seen the 'look' a few times, he'll swear he always liked it.

The first outfit is a top from Mother of Pearl (I am not sure if it is ladybirds or eyes with eyelashes, but they sort of bob along when you walk so it is quite unusual.
The jacket is from about 1991 and is a size 18, it is from my bigger days and was bought from Principles, but the whole 80s revival thing makes it current (I think).
The shoes were from Faith, but if you squint they could be Aquazzura.





Number two was for a meeting. The jacket is Chanel (again from about 1994, it never really fitted, but I used to get invited to the end of season sale so I always bought something, even if I couldn't get into it)
The top and glasses are from ZARA and the bag is Tory Burch, which was this season, but when I searched online has sold out, so unusually I have picked a winner! The shoes are Valentino from about 3 years ago and the jeans are from Primark, just landed, boyfriend style and £15 quid!








 Finally the previous Zoe Karssen tee, Paige jeans and old converse (bag, jacket and glasses as before)






PS This is one of those fluffy, effort-free posts as the getting back to blogging was feeling a little overwhelming.  But there will be camera downloads and holiday outfits coming soon, and there are some corkers (and not necessarily in a good way)

PPS If anyone wanted some of the Baranova and you are in the UK, please email me the address to where you would like me to post it and I will send next week.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Quick and dirty...

I am throwing a few things down before I go away for two weeks.  Firstly everyone who tried to get one of the Baranova detox sets will get one since I only needed a couple of extras and they are very generous.  But they won't be sent out until my return so I will be in touch early August for address details.

Secondly have you seen? this .....


I want to hate Net A Porter's foray into sportswear, as I like company's that are small and single-mindedly passionately about what they do.  But I can't deny it is brilliant, from the product selection to how it is presented, it is beautiful and authoritative, I can't wait to see more.

Quick run down of clothes, lots of black and white or nude...


 Warehouse top and Jaeger London tie trousers with the 'rock studs' that are not quite the real thing and
large Pringle bag.
 Phillip Lim trousers, gym vest and New Look jacket with pointy toe flats from M & S and Dior bag (repeated a lot)
 GAP knitted T shirt, boutique skirt and Chanel shoes with Vanilla London bag (shameless Hermes lookalikes, have been on the King's Road for years)

 Same T shirt Coast skirt and Anya bag....
 MSGN trousers and Joseph silk top...



Night out with the girls (from the school reunion, strike while the iron is hot) Dolce e Gabanna jacket, MSGN vest, Paige denim jeans...


 Beach Blanket Babylon...
 With Deutz champagne...

 And lots of laughs and old times revisited....

Home for a feast of plenty...
Favourite things, Balsamic vineger crisps, Leibnitz dark choc biscuits, Green and Black chocolate and all suits of fruit and veg from the farm...


 And lots of friends...
 And other friends....
 And the early arrivals, the easiest ones to feed....

The spoils of plenty, all the lovely floral and fauna that I was gifted, but it is the time with people that matters.

 I'll be back in two weeks, with (hopefully) a tan and a camera of memories x