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March Scavenger Hunt

Saturday, 31 March 2012

So it's the end of March.  I am currently in the wilds of Welshest Wales but I have astounded myself by actually scheduling some posts.  Well, I couldn't miss the monthly scavenger hunt, could I?  Thanks, as always, to Kathy for coming up with the selection.


I'm a Liverpool lass, so what better than the Liver Buildings? And although I must own up to taking this on my phone and using Instagram, it was one of the filters that didn't actually change the colours that much. The sky was almost that blue!


I think, although quoteth me not, that these little square quatrefoils are the only known example of this particular pattern. Pretty, aren't they?


I paused mid-apple-muffin-baking-session to snap this one. As you may be able to tell, I am not a tidy baker. I blame it on the size of the kitchen. There's no room to spread out.


These little beauties were on one of my childhood favourite cardigans. They somehow remained, even though the cardi is long gone. They're earrings now!


Not the most stunning picture I've ever taken but goodness me, it was the most stunning performance.  We went all the way to Edinburgh to see it and it was worth every single penny that it cost and every single second spent on a train.  Utterly mesmerising, especially The Beast.


Rather fancy for a table, isn't it?

Street name:

It's a real street name. Hehe, she's going to kill me when she sees this photo.


I wouldn't say I'm particularly fashion focused - I wear what I like. Luckily good shoes never go out of fashion.


If you've met me, you will be well aware that I am not a morning person. My brain doesn't start functioning for quite a while after I get out of bed. So, um, I forgot to take a photo that summed up mornings. But here's one that I took in the morning. Does that count?

Half a face:

Half a Catastrophe Cosmetic facemasky face, to be exact.  I went on one of the free facemask workshops that Lush and Clipper Tea are running and it was great fun!


Newcastle, in the early morning.  Really early morning.  Before 7am.  I must have been sleep walking.


I won't say which book the words come from, because they come right at the end and I don't want to spoil it for anyone. But I read them and I absolutely sobbed.

More Tweed

Friday, 30 March 2012

Scroll back through my outfit posts and you'll notice a pretty obvious trend - there's usually at least one, if not more, component of my outfit that's second-hand (whether that be ebay, vintage, charity shop or car boot sale).  This is partly because I am a cheapskate and shop less than most people I know, but mostly because I was brought up to value things and not treat them as disposable.

I don't think that buying something from an ethical manufacturer and only ever wearing it once is any more responsible than going mental in a charity shop and buying tons of stuff you'll never wear, just because it happens to be cheap and secondhand.  Admittedly both of those things are better than mindlessly hoovering up loads of tat just because a magazine tells you it's in fashion this year, but I still wouldn't recommend either of them, even if they do make you feel a bit more socially responsible than going on a spree in Primark.  Everything in my wardrobe has to earn its keep - it doesn't matter where it's come from.  I don't have the wardrobe space, the budget, or the conscience to wear things a few times and throw them away.

The boots are a perfect example of this.  They were third-hand when they came to me - I swapped them with another blogger (whilst at a car boot sale, no less!) and she'd picked them up from either a charity shop or another car boot sale.  Two years on and they're still going strong, with the benefit of one spot of TLC from my local cobbler when the heel snapped in half.  Some people might have turned their noses up at shoes that other people have worn, or gone "oh dear" and binned them when they broke.  I'm not getting rid of these beauties until there is actually no more wear left in them.

Top - ASOS via charity shop
Skirt - via Oxfam
Clutch - made from an offcut of the skirt
Boots - long and complicated history
Bracelets - shell necklace (had for donkey's years) and green bangle (present from Zoe)
Necklace - River Island sale

As I mentioned here, Oxfam is proving a fine source of vintage Welsh tweed skirts at the moment.  They are too long for me but this is a good thing - a little bit of cursing later (ok, a lot.  I am not talented at the crafty stuff.) and not only is the skirt a wearable length, the offcut is now a clutch bag!  Revamping something that's locally made and vintage and from a charity shop into two things that I'll get lots of use from, that is ethical fashion.

So although I didn't actually plan this outfit as such (I mostly just wanted to swank a bit about having made the clutch.  What?  I'm proud of myself!), I think this is a jolly suitable entry for the Blogger's Outfit Competition that Style Eyes is holding.  Here's hoping...

50 Shades of Green

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Woe is me.  Alack and alas. Boo McHoo  Etc.

No, that's not my reaction to being told that I look like a leprechaun (which did actually happen today).

I am sad because they have moved my picnic table!  My trusty picnic table that I used to prop the camera up on for all my outfit photos.  IT HAS BEEN MOVED.  How very rude.  I had to call the tripod into use today.  Now for those of you that regularly use tripods, I imagine this would not be so bad.  For me, it was.  My tripod is from Lidl (who even knew they sold them?!) and has a worrying habit of unexpectedly collapsing one leg, causing me to hurtle towards the floor to rescue the DSLR from sudden death.  It scares me to use it.  Also it doesn't even fold down properly and I do not enjoy having to try and smuggle it around in my handbag.  Even with a bag the size of mine, it is hard to be subtle about it.

In other news, I am not convinced about the dress.  I wanted it muchly, especially after Sarah's amazing illustration, and managed to track it down on ebay.  I had visions of looking all minxy in my minidress but in reality I look more like I'm dressing up in one of my mum's tops.  Ok, not a top belonging to my mum because she's even shorter than I am, but you get my drift, right? It is a bit unflatteringly large and long sleeved.  Bah.

Dress - Topshop, via ebay
Shoes - Irregular Choice, via ebay
Scarf - vintage
Tights - Dorothy Perkins

So take pity on a girl please.  Quick, hit me up with decent (and fairly cheap) tripod suggestions.  I'll have to try and resolve the clothing issue myself.

A (sort of) Thrifty Tale

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The moral of this outfit is: be patient. It will save you money.

I have wanted a proper tweedy coat for years.  Years and years.  I'm positive I've talked about it on here before.  So last year I thought I'd bite the bullet and just buy one.  Yes, it would be expensive, probably very expensive, because lovely as they, they are definitely not cheap.  But there are certain things that I'm prepared to invest in and I know that a really well made coat will last for years and is worth paying the money for.  Off I went to Burghley - mostly to watch the cross country action but also to have a good rummage around the hundreds of shops there - where I discovered that a) even if Dubarry do give out glasses of fizz to browsing customers, you really need to be tall and thin to suit their clothes and b) the coat I really liked best from the hundreds of different ones in all the other shops cost £450.  Eep. I went home empty handed and decided that I'd try various options to find a cheaper one this year.

Then whilst chatting to one of my colleagues, he mentioned that his son knew a supplier somewhere in Lancashire that could get nice tweedy coats for a fraction of their RRP (don't worry, it's definitely all legit).  Bish, bash, bosh.  Mine for £80. It's probably even a little bit nicer than the £450 one. Hurrah!

Charity shop afficionados and thrifty types may throw their hands up in horror at spending £80 on anything.  I would probably have done the same in most situations but I really wanted this coat and it's lovely, so there.

As for the second moral of this outfit (well one would just be shabby), it is: if you see something you like in Dorothy Perkins, never pay full price for it.  They're always having sales and 30% off weekends.  The jumper was snapped up in the sale and was on a buy-one-get-one-half-price offer as well.  The shoes were just in the normal sale some months later but I was very pleased to find them - they're the same as the black heels that appear so often on here.

Posh coat - sourced with a little help from lovely Norman
Jumper & heels - Dorothy Perkins sale
Necklaces - H&M
Inappropriately short skirt - Next clearance

It looks a normal length on the hanger, honest it does.  Then I put it on and spend all day doing this:

Marilyn, I am not.

How To Outfit Post, Odd Socks Style

Thursday, 15 March 2012

The night before, have a mildly angsty rifle through my wardrobe trying to find something blog-worthy that you haven't already seen before. Decide that I don't own any nice clothes. Give up and go to bed.

In the morning, go "argh" and shove on something that looks vaguely presentable.

Give up tea break to:

Go and stand in the freezing cold by my beloved brick wall.

Hi, brick wall! You are looking bricktastic today.

Having had to put sensible spare flats on to get to the brick wall, swap for shoes I've actually been wearing.

Prop camera up on picnic table, check I've got the settings right and fire up the multishot option.

Try my utmost to avoid being seen by any passing gardeners/visitors/school children. This often to leads to photos such as this:

Keep coat on initially, then decide that despite the freezing conditions, it really must come off at some point. Take a minimum of 50 photos.

Decide I look like a troll in all of them and ponder whether I'll ever be brave enough for an outtakes post. Attempt to distract from this by taking arty-ish closeups of the jewellery.

Run back inside and have v. large cup of coffee to warm self up.

Give up lunch break to:

Upload photos.

Groan almightily at the amount of them where I'm either looking gormless or have managed to zoom in too much and chop my feet or head off.

Narrow it down to a few that I don't actively loathe. Crop, resize, alter the exposure if necessary.

Upload to Blogger and edit the HTML coding so they show up as a decent size. Tag, add links, loudly curse Blogger's really annoying habit of inserting random coding in places and making it look a mess.

Get massively sidetracked by work (yeah, lunch breaks are a notional concept here).

Remember I haven't finished, go back and write something vaguely interesting to accompany it. Usually fail.

Think "oh feck it" and hit "publish post" anyway.

Feel guilty about my shocking lack of replies to comments.

Blogging. Weird pastime, isn't it?

Dress - AX Paris via charity shop
Shirt - Um, Gap, I think. I stole it from my brother
Shoes - Next, via charity shop
Coat - c/o
Locket - Etsy

What I Did On Saturday

Monday, 12 March 2012

I ticked one of the things off my "Want to do in 2012" list and went to Somerford Park for a thoroughly horsey day out. We were volunteering at a British Eventing competition for the very first time and to say I was nervous was putting it mildly, despite having been on a great training course in February. I haven't really ridden since uni and even back then I never had the competitive spirit for this level. We do spectate a fair amount and it's always a fab day out, but this was a different task altogether. Everyone was lovely though. Anywhere where you're greeted with a big smile and a tray of bacon butties is officially in my good books.

View from one side of the car

View from the other side

So basically, when you fence judge you arm yourself with all the above equipment. If it's cold, you sit in the car. If it's sunny (which it wasn't) you sit outside and get a tan. Every time a horse comes past you blow the whistle to alert spectators, click the stopwatch to get a time, fill in the scoresheet to say if it's gone clear or had any penalties, radio through to Control to let them know and then breathe and watch for the next one. They were coming every 90 seconds or so at one stage so it was a busy old day! Excellent fun though and absolutely no chance to get bored.

Obviously, a picnic is a must. Homemade leek and potato soup from a flask, nom. We would have been splendidly fed by the organisers had it not been for all our various allergies. Honestly, we're a pain to feed - it's much easier to bring our own!

Most importantly, no-one fell off at our fences. Hurrah! We had some refusals but practically everyone went clear so it was a jolly nice introduction to the volunteering role. Here's a cheeky photo of someone jumping the house rather beautifully.

It's also an excellent opportunity to play "Horse I'd Most Like To Take Home". My winner was an incredibly sweet little pony called Mocha (not the one in the photo above, although that was pretty nice too). So, so cute!

Apologies gang, but I only took this one photo featuring me (there were competitors out walking the course and I got very bashful) and my face looks the most monumentally grim it has ever looked. EVER. No idea why - I was having a great day! Anyway, admire my wellies and posh coat, for they both rock.

Mad As A March Hare

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Is this frock hare print? Is it bunnies*? Am I mad? Is it March? To the last two questions, the answer is yes. To the two others, I dunno. It's a cute print though, no?

*And is it a sign that I've watched entirely too much Buffy that I type that and want to scream "It must be BUNNIES"?

On a slightly more serious note, it's Fairtrade Fortnight and the dress is from People Tree. I wish I could buy stuff from there more often but you should know me by now - I am a) stingy with my money and b) a bit of a charityshopaholic. Hence I lurk on the website when the sales are on (and there are some lovely frocks on there at the moment, argh the temptation) and try and use my minimal shopping budget wisely.

I feel a bit more virtuous about how I've spent my money because it's supporting a company and a cause that I believe in and is way better than investing in yet more poorly made, unethically produced tat. Also, look at the frock! It's awesome, and really lovely fabric. I would so much rather have one of these than three nasty Primark frocks that will fall apart after one wear.



Dress - People Tree
Cardi - New Look
Necklace - gift
Shoes & bracelet - Dorothy Perkins

ps - unsponsored post, just a company I really admire.