And, we’re back

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

So, yeah. I thought I was done but maybe I’m not. That was a good break, but I kept thinking ‘I should write a blog post about that’, and then remembering that I don’t do that any more. Then I had a three month stint of being paid for my writing via a ton of articles I wrote for a project that in the end didn’t happen but whatevs, I got all the money anyway and some stuff got published on a corporate blog somewheres on the interwebs.

In the midst of that, I got a new, full time job that doesn’t require a shitty commute or stupid hours and lo! I’m home before 6pm on week nights. Oh, and it’s a good job paying a proper salary and the company seems really nice. Huh.

And I had all my hair cut off, and did some decorating and read some books and listened to some audiobooks, and Charlie has so far left three dead rabbits under the bed. I’m going to start storing stuff there just to stop him using it as a larder.

I made a sourdough starter and my sourdough isn’t the greatest but it’s ok. Loaves are rising as I type, and will continue to rise overnight until I bake them before I go to a yoga workshop in the morning.

I’m still single. It’s still fucking awesome. John Wick 3 was ok, better than 2, not as good as 1. I need to see Avengers Endgame again and I meant to see Rocketman this evening but then I painted my fence with teak oil, rewarded myself with wine and ordered a takeaway instead.

I’m reading a book about otters, and listening to Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver and I simply cannot find the right pair of black shoes.

I think we’re up to date now. Did you miss me?



In which maybe there are some clothes, after all

I’ve been despairing for months. Is it me? Is it them? I can’t tell, but I can’t spend money for wanting to. The situation has reached such a nadir that earlier this week, I was so disheartened I failed even to buy mascara. I need mascara. It’s the only thing that makes me look awake in meetings.

Summer is always bad, this year has been worse than usual. Off the shoulder, formless, floaty, spaghetti straps. No no no. In any case, the weather hasn’t cooperated so if I did buy any of that stuff, it would be hidden under multiple layers and I’d look like someone who wears their entire wardrobe because they don’t have anywhere to store it. Plus, I work in an air-conditioned, under-occupied office. It might be 25 degrees outside, but cashmere is my friend in summer. In winter, I upgrade to a cape that is basically a faux fur trimmed blanket. Yeah, stylish and warm. Eat that, Slanket!

I’m also going through a phase where I’m bored with/hate all of the clothes in my wardrobe. You know how you get up one morning and everything that was fine the day before is suddenly incontrovertibly wrong? That.

There is hope, though. It’s called ‘autumn’. It looks very much as though straight and wide legged trousers will be available, in lovely fabrics like wool and flannel. I don’t care what fashion will be telling me, these are what I really want to wear, along with a sweater, a jacket and boots or smart trainers. Jeans for the weekend.

Except that I keep trying on smart trainers and realising that they’re ugly. Instead of looking as though I’m effortlessly pulling off a sporty-yet-smart urban vibe,  I look like I work in a care home. I think I might have to get dark grey Converse and call it done. There are, thank goodness, great boots all over the place so that’s not even a concern.

And then, there’s outer layers. I’ve been holding back on jackets a bit, feeling I had too many. It must be said, I don’t have any like this and it may well be it stays that way. But, goodness, it would be fun.

Bomber jacket


And, my coats are starting to look a little too worn and my autumn coat is plain black , and really, do I really need an excuse for this? Worn with aforementioned navy flannel pants and dark grey Converse?



Oh autumn, do get on with it.

Good things

This may or may not be a new, regular post, depending on how much of a grumpy cow I am. Yeah, all right, I know, you can stick those smart ass comments… Wait… Oh… #fail…

Anyway, as a start, good things of the week, in no particular order. So there:

  1. Purring cats. Charlie has hurt his paw a bit, so is asking for lots of sympathy. The fact that he still climbs and play-fights with Belle says that he’s fine, really.
  2. The sourdough starter that’s looking like it’ll work; and the 2-quart Kilner jar to keep it in. Sunday will be the literal proving.
  3. Dinner with the ever-fabulous Ms G.
  4. My first trip to the Sackler library, in which I got my account sorted out and figured out this year’s printing/copying system.
  5. The fact that it’s light in the morning by the time I leave.
  6. These shoes that I just ordered. In red. Because one day, it will be spring. Oh yes.
  7. The mini-stack of Persephones awaiting my attention, plus the copy of Small Gods that is on the way, and which sort of counts as research. Plus, the illustrated hardback of Gormenghast that is on its way, which totally counts as a gratuitous book-buying treat. Mwah ha ha ha.
  8. A thank you card from my friend Ms H for her Christmas present.
  9. The flowers the GOM bought. He does keep me in flowers, as is only right and proper.
  10. Going to my first yoga class in forever and lasting most of it.

In which I am lured back by autumn clothes

To recap: I don’t do summer well. Spending most of your life in England, there’s really never much call for getting to grips with summer couture. Mostly, you just take your jacket off for 10 minutes, then the sun clouds over again and the temperature drops 5 degrees. However, by the end of my time in the US, and under the expert mentorship of Zoesmom, I like to flatter myself that I was starting to get the hang of summer clothing. After 6 years, I’d bought a pair of shorts, for example.

But, it is autumn clothes that set my little heart a-flutter, a vestige of September’s back to school excitement, with its new-uniform-and-schoolbag ritual. The edible colours and the richly sensual textures are so much more satisfying than the lightweight pastels of summer that I’m incapable of walking through a store without stroking the clothes and feeling my Amex card twitch in my wallet. Give me dark green, navy, taupe, rich brown, plum, charcoal and magenta, particularly if you’re offering it up in wool or tweed. Seriously. Gimme. And, you know, you’re right: I do need a new bag to go with that… Bring out your shiny leather or your butter soft suede.

I was flicking through Red before my hair appointment last night (Ooh, newsflash, have had hair chopped. Not short short by my standards, but all that face clutter has gone. Is such a relief. Can’t be arsed with a photo, just imagine me gorgeous and gamine.) and I saw these red patent brogues from John Lewis:

Lovely, no? With skinny jeans or cropped trousers. Available in my size? Also no. So that set me off on a hunt for something similar. Given the paucity of shoe shops in England (pauses for brief moment of US shopping nostalgia), that meant Hobbs. So, not a brogue, but pretty close, and the colour is good. I may have to check these out in person tomorrow.

Of course, a woman’s got to have something to wear with new shoes, and if the retail advice for the season is ‘Get a miniskirt’, then who am I to argue? (I do hear Stacy from ‘What Not to Wear’ saying ‘No miniskirts over the age of 35’, while Clinton rolls his eyes; and in my head I’m saying ‘La la la, I can’t hear you’.)

So, over to Jigsaw, first for a pretty reasonably priced tweed with a bit of sparkle to it:


and then for a pretty ridiculously priced frilly thing. I’m almost certain I wouldn’t buy this for me, unless Jigsaw have worked magic with the cut and the size 8 runs small, but I bet it looks cute on someone. Who is 10+ years younger. Whatever, I still like it.

There’s also this, which is Jigsaw by way of AllSaints (but half the price), and a definite nod to the 80s. Could be fun, could be ghastly, requires actual rather than virtual review.

And, erm, well, I am missing a brown bag since I gave the Kate Spade one I never used to SD, who uses it a lot. Which is very satisfying to see. But leaves a brown bag shaped hole in my closet, n’est ce pas? Three guesses what I’m doing tomorrow, my poppets…

Tuesday shoesday

Enough of this pseudo-highbrow reading nonsense, and on with the fluff. Shoes! Although I do have the best ever Wonder Woman Converse to keep me happy at the moment, courtesy of the amazing Zoesmom. But hey, as with men, you may be perfectly happy with the one on your arm but there’s no damage done by checking out a little eye candy, right?

So – pink shoes. One day, I will actually buy a pair of pink shoes (although this month I bought this jacket instead), but until that happy day I will just gaze, longingly. I can’t help feeling, though, that the current weather would be ruinous for pink suede and it is therefore not a practical choice. You know me, I’m all about the practical.

These, on the other hand, strike me as a good two to three season shoe. Which makes them both practical and desirable. Like George Clooney. Except, you know, practical.

But really, since this is eye candy time, why mess about on the high street? Which brings me to these little darlings, to which I have quite lost my heart even though I know that they will never, ever be mine. Wait, are we back at George Clooney? Anyway, behold the glory of Louboutin! I love the colour, but I also love the way the trademark red sole pops on these. Dammit, where is that winning lottery ticket when you need it?

Tuesday shoesday

The weather at the weekend was so warm that it made me genuinely believe in Spring. Besides, the birds are busy in the garden, a vase of freesias is opening on the window ledge and clusters of snowdrops are nestling in sun-dappled woodlands.

All of which means that one day soon it will be possible to leave the house without wearing boots, so it’s time to step up the search for new ballet flats. I would not have believed it was so difficult to find a pair, but even Macy’s failed me. Back to England’s three shoe shops to see what they’ve got on offer.

From which, behold this rose-gold option from LK Bennett. I’d like metallic as a good neutral option, and while gold can be too, well, gold, the rose-gold tone softens that up a bit.

For a similar take on the same idea, Jigsaw’s pewter pump with black trim and toe cap is a little more subdued. Maybe slightly classier than the rose-gold? I’d have to see them in person to judge.

Finally, I love the punched out holes and slightly retro feel of these black and white flats from Hobbs, too. I don’t think they’d be as versatile as the metallics, but they’d be cute with jeans or skinny chinos (also on the list for spring), or maybe a dress. Hmmm. And, they are right in my colour spectrum of black.

Objects of want

Yesterday, in a significant step forward, I finally banished the suitcases from my bedroom. All the clothes they used to hold are now neatly contained in baskets on the Victorian buffet that I bought instead of a chest-of-drawers, because I couldn’t find a chest-of-drawers I liked.

What I bought 'cos all drawers were horrid.

(This, by the by, is why it’s so hard for me to make progress in sorting out the house. I’ve got very specific ideas and I won’t compromise [shocker, right? 😉 ]. But then, that is partly because I have years of compromise purchases behind me: can’t afford that, get this; one of us likes that, one of us likes this, get that other that we’re both indifferent to; need something now and can’t find the right thing, oh, this’ll do. These days, if it’s not right, I don’t buy it, which is why I was partly living out of suitcases for 3 months.)

So, now I have a lot more space in the bedroom, which I will most likely fill with a bookcase. Until that is decided, I’m giving serious consideration to a hot pink chaise longue.

The day my 7forallmankind jeans developed a hole in them was a day of tragedy. I’ve wanted a new pair ever since but cannot, cannot bring myself to spend 20o pounds on a pair of jeans.

I want them, though. Oh, how I want them. You know how it is when you find the perfect pair of jeans, and however much you try all others are just slightly wrong? That.

Then there’s shoes. Well, of course there are, where did you think you were? To be honest, the shoe and bag shopping in England is fucking terrible, and for the most part I don’t bother looking. It’s either cheap and nasty or to die for but megabucks.

These, though, are just about in the ballpark of what I could conceivably pay. The picture’s not great, but that is red and gold right there. Adorbs, right?

I also have my eye on this dress. I’ve looked at it a couple of times in the store and I definitely like it. But, it’s a big step away from my ‘Do you have that in black?’ wardrobe and I’m not at all sure about wearing colour.

On the other hand, everything is so drab at the moment (the sky, the weather, the landscape) that some brightness somewhere would be very welcome. What do you think?