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April Scavenger Hunt

Monday, 30 April 2012

Last day of the month is Scavenger Hunt day! Thanks as always to Kathy for organising it. If anyone wants to join in during May I'd love to see your photos. My April efforts are as follows:

On the move:

*cough*tenuous link*cough*

I kinda failed to take any action shots this month.  But if you're on the move then you need some antique cases to carry your stuff round in, yes?  Sadly these aren't mine.  They reside at Dinefwr.


We had giants in Liverpool this month. What seemed like the entire population of the North West turned out to see them. It was genuinely amazing to watch the spectacle.


It's a gate.  Nuff said.


You won't get lost outside the Albert Dock.  Signposts AHOY!


Bed.  The bed of a single and selfish person who likes to make a fort out of the pillows and sleep a lot. I know it's indulgent and I don't care.


Wool used in the Abergavenny Tapestry.  Aren't they a beautiful range of pastels?


It's stickier than the time that Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun (cool points to anyone who gets that reference).  Absolutely delicious though.


A really rather big rock half way up Garn Goch


Blossom and bees.  Yay!  I love spring. 


Mine.  Avec additional blurring because I was paranoid it would look like I have a tache.  I don't!  But poking a camera that close to your face is just asking for trouble. 


A shadowy tangle of branches.  I just rather liked the effect.

Can't live without:

Books. Books. Books. I get physically twitchy when I'm deprived of reading material.

New Things

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

I hate the run up to payday.  Now I should point out that I am not the sort of person who massively overspends on a post-payday binge and then has to live off beans for half the month, but I do set pretty strict savings targets for myself and, well, it's the same overall result isn't it?  Not very much disposable cash to live off.  April is always an evil month - holidays and birthdays and lots of fun things eat all my money before I even know where it's gone.  It's a good job I take pleasure in the small things because there's no way I can afford the big ones right now.  So here are some that have found their way to me recently.  Small things, but definitely happiness inducing things.

Hostess teacup and plate (birthday present).  More room for biscuits on this than on a saucer!

Ah, Dorothy Perkins jewellery section in the sales.  I love it so.  £3 for the three.  Something else may have fallen into my hands as I went to the tills but that is reserved for a separate blog post if it ever stops chuffing raining.  Seriously weather, you are hampered my blogging efforts!

An antique collar box - a present from one of the volunteers at work who didn't want it any more.  I think it might be snakeskin?  Anyway, it's both useful and beautiful.

And a good glass of wine after a day volunteering at Kelsall Hill horse trials.  They supplied the wine as a thank you, which I thought was a rather lovely touch. 

Alex in Aquascutum

Saturday, 21 April 2012

You've probably all heard this week about Aquascutum going into administration and closing its main factory.  I'll leave it to the business and fashion analysts to properly assess the whole sorry situation but from my point of view, it's always sad when we're on the verge of losing such a classic British brand.  I'm not sad in the way I would be if it was somewhere I actually shopped at - I mean, could I ever afford to buy anything new from them?  No.  I considered myself very fortunate to find an Aquascutum scarf in a charity shop for a pound last year.  It was even more exciting to find this amazing coat in the back of an antiques shop whilst I was in Hay on Wye.

Ok, it cost slightly more than £1 but it was a birthday present from my lovely mum and it was still cheap considering what it is.  I would try and type coherent thoughts about how nice it is to own really decent quality clothing but I'm quite tired and all I can think to say is "OOOOH it's pretty and it has a great big collar and shiny, shiny silver shiny buttons."  So on that note, I shall leave you to admire it.

Coat - Aquascutum, vintage.  No idea of the age though.
Cardi - H&M
Vest top & heels - Dorothy Perkins sale
Skirt - River Island sale


Tuesday, 17 April 2012

I think I am having a bit of a clothes crisis. Well, perhaps not a crisis exactly. That makes it sound awfully dramatic. But I don't have anything new, and in the land of the fashion/style blog this is somewhat of a problem.  I doubt anyone is bothered that I repeat outfits all the time in real life - I mean really, unless you have a huge wardrobe or an infinite amount of dosh, things do get worn over and over again.  I don't like to repeatedly blog the same things though.

It meant quite the session of wardrobe rummaging to find something "blogworthy", which I know is an awful description, but is basically how I classify my outfits.  Non-blogworthy stuff includes my ancient jeans, boring vest top and cardi combos, work fleeces and suchlike.  Shock horror, I often dress like quite the scruff. 

Anyway, huzzah, thought I.  I don't believe I've blogged my cat shoes.  My cat shoes are BRILLIANT.

But they are scared of the rain, and the weather was muchly changeable today, so a brolly had to be kept close at hand.

Dress - Per Una
Cardi - Gap
Belt - Primark
Shoes - Irregular Choice 'Cheese on Toast'
Necklace - twas my Grandma's

What I Wore...To The Races

Friday, 13 April 2012

Ah.  It's Aintree time again and that means it's time for tons of patronising Southern bile in the media mocking Scouse women for daring to make an effort when they go to the races.  I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the tone of the Daily Mail's article yesterday though.  It's much less vitriolic than in previous years (note - I haven't read the comments because they'll make me want to punch things) although I can't help but feel that they've picked some peculiar photos to go along with it.  There were so many beautifully dressed, chic women there yesterday.  Lots of peplums and really smart fitted dresses and fab platform shoes.  That wasn't even the day when people get really dressed up! We shall wait and see what the coverage of Ladies Day (today) brings...

So, what did I wear?  This:
Ah, so chic to accessorise with a pint of Bulmers, isn't it?


Much more soberly dressed than most people there, but here is the basis of my thinking when it comes to an outfit for the races. 
  • Something smart. 
  • Something I won't freeze in.  
  • Preferably something I already own, because I can't countenance doing what some girls do and spending £500 on getting ready and buying the outfit.  That is just madness. 
  • Oh, and flat shoes.  My back hurts after spending over six hours standing up and I just can't wear heels for that long without ruining my day with pain and moaning. 
So, as I said on Twitter yesterday, I may have been by far in the minority with my flats on, but at least I wasn't teetering along and moaning about how much my feet were killing me after an hour.  Or worse, walking round barefoot holding my shoes.  *shudder*

Instead I was having a wonderfully fun day out in the sunshine.  And being assaulted by my brother when trying to study the form in the Racing Post.  He didn't stop me picking a couple of winners though, muahaha.

Dress - Closet @ Dorothy Perkins
Jacket - Warehouse via charity shop
Flats - New Look
Ring - Dorothy Perkins sale
Bag - H & M

I Don't Do Beaches

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

I like my holidays a bit more full of interest than lying on the sand looking at the sea.  Here's what I got up in Wales last week:


Arrived at the cottage and flopped in a tired heap.  Isn't the view a cracker?


Went for a walk to find a waterfall.  Got lost due to the footpath magically disappearing, bothered some sheep, couldn't find the bloody waterfall.

Came home.  It was a jolly nice walk though.


We went to Hay on Wye, aka the land of second-hand bookshop.  I only bought 5 books.  Are you all impressed? 


 I may have bought this tweed hat though.  Weird I know, but I likes it!


Stayed in the cottage in front of the fire and read lots, partly because we were lazy but mostly because it was snowing.  Look - that's snow on them there hills!


Something you should probably know about the women of my family when on holiday - we don't do A roads and motorways.  We are fans of boldly going.  Also, we are easily led off route in search of an interesting place name.  It produces good results though!  We saw Bethlehem, so naturally had to go there.

Then discovered an ancient monument sign and ended up climbing up the largest Iron Age hill fort in Wales. As you do. I forgot to take a bobble with me and spent most of the walk like this.

We stopped at an amazing old coaching inn for a well deserved lunch - highly recommended.

And then went to Dinefwr in the afternoon and had a wonderful time there.  Shall do a separate post about this I think so as not to bombard you entirely with photos.


We went to Abergavenny. I hereby gift their Tourist Board with the following slogan:  Abergavenny - Surprisingly Nice.  It has a castle and a lovely tapestry and lots of charity shops.  Frankly, what more do you need?


Did some fairly epic gallivanting.  We went through some rather wild parts and then up the Devil's Staircase (single lane, 1:4 very winding ascent.  Not recommended in a 1.2 Renault Clio.  Thank god I wasn't driving) on our way to Strata Florida Abbey which was a little cold and wet but rather enchanting nonetheless.  Lots of Welsh princes buried there, as well as this poet fella.  Isn't that last line lovely?

So that was the week that was.  I like Wales very much, but my ability to pronounce Welsh place names has not advanced at all.  I hereby give a shiny shilling to anyone who can tell me how to say this one.

Books and Reading

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

I was wondering if anyone would like to take part in a blog version of A Good Read? For those of you not familiar with it, it's a Radio 4 show where the host and two guests pick a favourite book each and then all read and review them. Sort of a mini book club I suppose, but with the potential for a bit more diversity and interest in the choice of books. Let me know if you're interested – I haven't thought about the specifics just yet but I'm sure I can work something simple out. I'm up for playing host once a month - 3 books won't take me long to read - but I know I read a lot faster than most people. If you're interested but don't read that fast, or don't have that much time spare, don't be put off! You'd only need to take part once and it can be bimonthly if that's more convenient for people.

Anyway, whilst I'm thinking books, here are some thoughts on what I've read recently:

I remember exactly why I bought this book. I was wombling around Blogland (as you do) and came across a hilarious post and comments section about awkward sex scenes in books. Someone recommended this and I thought why not and headed to Amazon.

It arrived and I stayed up till 3.30am (on a school night) finishing it. That's how good it was.  Now I should warn you that I sobbed like an absolute child at large sections of it. That's just my personal reaction but if you have body image issues or have been big or lost weight, it may push certain buttons for you. It really did with me and was kinda painful to read someone else's version of a lot of things that I have thought.  Don't let that put you off though. It made me laugh just as much as it made me cry.  Probably more so.  I love, love, love her writing style.  It's funny, true and utterly captivating. She's straight onto my auto-buy list.

People.  If you are a fan of crime fiction and haven't read any of his books yet, go out and buy one right now.  Start with Cold Granite and work your way through the series till you get to this one. You can thank me later.

 The series is set in Aberdeen so you'd imagine a bit of dour Scottishness to flavour the books.  Well it does - they're not exactly chirpy and happy-clappy - but the setting is wonderfully described and the books are worlds away from being miserable reads. If you don't chuckle your way through them, we can't be friends.  I honk laughing at some of the things that DI Steel comes out with.

I got this out from the library as I like her books and didn't recognise this particular cover.  Turned out a few pages into it that I'd already read it (clearly a different edition), but that didn't bother me as I like rereading books.  And there are definitely things about this book to like - it's an interesting premise, she's a good author and I am a total sucker for anything set in and around a country house.  I must have forgotten (or perhaps blocked out) the thing that really annoyed me about it.  It's as if she'd read a lot of books about the Mitfords and regurgitated chunks of them into this.  I can't even describe the dialogue of the characters in the 20s & 30s sections of this book as being Mitford-esque, because she hasn't made any effort to look beyond them and change things even a little bit.  It's just wholesale lifting of terms and nicknames and little sayings that belonged to one particular family.  An iconic family, yes, and one with a heavy literary influence, but you can't honestly tell me that every vaguely upper class person in that era talked like that and shared that very specific set of vocabulary.  It really irritated me, and it's a shame, because I enjoyed the book apart from that.