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Monday, 29 October 2012

I am poorly.  So as not to inflict my general deathlike pallor and bright red nose on you (sound like a clown, don't I?), I am holding off on outfit photos for a few days.  Instead, I shall share with you some of the aforementioned stuff that I've picked up recently.

Pretty new bedding from Ikea.  I do love a good bit of toile print fabric, so I was v. pleased to discover this.  It's not green but then we can't have everything, can we?

Knee high socks from Primark.  I muchly enjoy knee high socks but decent ones are not that easy to find.  Either they fall down, or they're secretly over-the-knee socks with misleading packaging, or they make my legs look super stumpy.  These are cute and vaguely sporty, and at £2 a pair, I'm definitely going back for the black ones.
Also from Primark, some fab little boots.  These are a nightmare to photograph - does anyone else find that with red stuff?  They're a gorgeous deep, dark berry colour in real life but it isn't quite showing up here, no matter how much I faff around in PicMonkey.  It's not a colour I wear much of, but in the world of footwear, anything goes.

A swanky bra and pants set from the Rosie for Autograph collection from M&S.  I don't normally do fancy underwear, or even matching underwear.  But it was payday and this was pretty (and green), so I bought it.  And it wasn't that expensive - more than I usually spend but not exactly Agent Provocateur prices or anything.

Also Bananagrams, which is indeed awesome.  If you haven't played it, you really need to.  It's like Scrabble on crack.  Or a crossword race.  Either way, it's brilliant and I love it and I will happily have a game with anyone that asks.
Definitely NOT being included in the list above are the Primark tights that I bought at the same time as the boots and socks.  The fleecy lined pair felt amazing and cosy at first but seeing as they spent most of the day descending down to knee level, I didn't exactly get much benefit from them.  The nice green non-fleecy lined pair were even worse, despite being a size L/XL.  I am 5'2.  I am not that fat.  There's no way in hell that a size L/XL should be that small/badly made that they need to be clutched at the waist all day to keep them from falling down. 
If you ever see me even vaguely tempted to buy tights from there ever again, slap my hand and point me in the other direction.  Preferably to M&S or Dotty P because their tights might be pricier but at least they fit and last well. 
And on that deeply grannyish note, I am off to buy a new box of tissues.

Black and Gold

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Yup, I wore gold sequins to work this week.  No-one batted an eyelid.  Whether that means they're just used to me by now or that dress codes don't mean much in our place or probably both, I'm happy with it.  I couldn't cope with having to have a whole separate wardrobe full of clothes for work.  I begrudge spending money on sensible things as it is - having to fork out for boring workwear would be a step too far.  And what would it to do to my lovely colleague who likes to start her day off by having a look at what ridiculous thing I've got on if I sat at my desk in black polyester and plain heels all the time?  She'd find it as deeply dull as I did.

I don't like dull.  I like impractically decorated shoes and monster tshirts.

Jacket - c/o French Connection
Tshirt - Hero and Cape
Skirt - H&M sale
Boots & gold flecked tights - Marks & Spencer
Ring - Dorothy Perkins sale

I'm so pleased with the tshirt.  As soon as I saw the monster peeking out from behind green tissue paper, I knew it would be good.  I had some slight issues with the previous tshirt I ordered from Hero and Cape - nothing to do with the quality, I just have too short a neck for a high round-neck collar! - and had to alter it a bit to suit my funny shape, but this one is great.  They've expanded the product range and the new fabric and cut options are perfect.  And the beauty of it being a small company is that the personal touch is there and they're happy to swap designs and tshirt styles if you ask them.  Not that I needed it with this one, but it's always useful to have the option available.

Chloe and I were tshirt twins way back when and when I spotted the new moustachioed monster design, she was the first person I had to go "Have you seen it?!" to.  She is a woman of excellent taste after all.  Naturally we ended up expanding our twinny collection and both bought it.  Doesn't she look lovely in it?  Ah, to be that slim...

The Porridge Jumper

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Sometimes you find an item of clothing that you know does absolutely nothing for you and you just don't care.

Meet the porridge jumper:

I was actually looking for something entirely different in Primark at the weekend.  Well, perhaps not that different, seeing as it was a grey, oversized jumper, but as I was doing that can't-find-what-I'm-looking-for-so-must-stomp-around-the-entire-section-mocking-the-vile-clothes-instead thing, I found this lurking at the back of a rail of size 6 and 8 versions.  The Liverpool Primark is terrible for doing this: either they think everyone is really skinny and order accordingly or no-one is skinny and so they end up with loads of tiny clothes.  Either way, there's hardly ever anything in my size.

And this isn't.  It's about 3 sizes too big but I like it even more for that.  I made Char try it on for comedy value and it drowned her so much it was longer than her actual dress - quite amusing!  It's amazing though.  So warm and so comforting that it's like sitting in a big bowl of brown sugar porridge.  Who cares if it's not that flattering?  Not everything in my wardrobe needs to be.

Jumper - Primark
Skirt - Tesco
Shoes - Dorothy Perkins sale
Belt - Dubrovnik market

The only bad thing about this beauty is that it's so big and so snuggly that I'm likely to fall asleep whilst wearing it...

Joining the Converse Club

Friday, 19 October 2012

Apart from a brief foray into Dunlop Green Flash in the mid 2000s, I've never been a trainer sort of person.  I am not terribly sporty - well I swim, walk and ride horses but these require no footwear, walking boots and jodphur boots respectively, not trainers.  I have so many shoes I don't really want to count them but I can tell you the number of pairs of trainer type shoes that I own straight away.  One.  And they need throwing in the bin because they're Primark plimsolly type things that cost £3 and they're wrecked.

This year has seen my opinion on Converse changing though.  It's not that I ever hated them in the way I despise Uggs and Crocs, I just didn't quite see the point of them.  Fab for the indie types and gig-goers, but not really my sort of thing.  Then at Bestival this year I was surrounded by bloggers rocking them in so many different ways and it finally dawned on me just how versatile they actually are. They looked great with everything (which proper trainers decidedly do not) and people wouldn't be wearing them all day if they weren't comfortable.  God knows my shoe collection is lacking in comfortable flats - I seem to be cursed with painful brogues and ballet pumps with paper-thin soles at the moment.  So I'm definitely going to get a pair but the problem is where to start.

Do I get the high top version?

All Star high

Or the low one?

All Star leather

I can't even decide on the colour I like best.  Argh.

Help me out here girls!  I must be about the only person in the world who doesn't already own a pair, so I'd love your advice.  Which style would you recommend I buy or steer clear of?

A Break in Belfast

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

I'm very pleased I decided on Belfast for a mini break.  I got back on Monday night, stuffed full of amazing food and having had a thoroughly lovely time.  Lots of people gave me great tips about things to do and places to go but special mention must to go to Hazel for being full of ideas about wonderful restaurants and especially for tipping me off about St George's Market which I loved.  I was only prevented from spending loads of money by virtue of taking a small hand luggage case with me and having no room to pack anything else into it.

We spent Sunday on a coach tour.  I am sometimes a bit sniffy about coaches but this was ace.  I didn't fancy getting to Giant's Causeway by public transport on a Sunday anyway but this covered loads of other stops - castles and views a plenty!

Yeah, I didn't dare go over the rope bridge.  I'm not scared of heights but I can't cope without a solid surface under my feet.  Stairs with no backs freak the hell out of me too.

Well, Giant's Causeway is a bit good, isn't it?  I must admit, on the approach down to it I was thinking "Pretty scenery and all but hmmm, it doesn't look that amazing"...

Then you get up close and it's all "woah, look at the ROCKS!"  So, um, look at the rocks everyone!  Isn't nature a marvellous thing?

Then you gallivant all over them and it's brilliant.  I was leaping from rock to rock, pretending I was in The Crystal Maze or Knightmare or something, and trying not to fall in the sea.

Everyone was super jolly too - a very nice Portuguese man took this photo.  I should track him down and get him to take all my blog photos!  I actually like it and I never like pictures of me.

Papa Odd Socks (excellent holiday companion that he is) took this one.  It's coming up weirdly out of focus here which it isn't anywhere else, but it does actually show what I'm wearing.

Coat -
Jumper - Fat Face sale
Jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Boots - H&M
Ancient bag - Oasis
Arm warmers - no idea
Pose - bad idea

I love this jumper.  It's one of the three I bought in Harrogate last week and I really wasn't meant to be buying any of them, but when you're faced with lovely teal and cream stripes and waffly sleeves and general cosy jumperishness, what else can you do?

Happy Holiday

Saturday, 13 October 2012

I seem to be very lucky with holidays. There's a certain amount you can guarantee by selecting a nice place to stay and picking your holiday companions wisely, but the rest is up in the air.  Will the weather be awful? Will the cottage look nothing like the website pictures and be covered in dog hair? Will I forget to pack all my pants? Will the car break, stranding me in the middle of nowhere for a week? Will I blow up the cooker in the holiday cottage? (all of those have happened to me, although thankfully not all on the same holiday)
I went away last week with this lovely bunch:
L-R: Kim, Karen, Char, Heather, Ffion and moi.

Karen, Ffion and I work together and we decided, somewhat on a whim, to book a 5 day break and each bring along a friend.  We're all very similar in terms of likes and dislikes so I was fairly certain that I wouldn't hate the friends they brought with them.  And so it turned out!  Kim and Heather were both absolutely lovely and the six of us had a cracking time.  Lovely weather, lots of giggles and many jaunts around the countryside.  What more could you want?  Nothing went wrong!

Here's where we stayed:
Alas the amazing MG (Rita) is not mine.  She belongs to Karen.

An awful lot of gallivanting around Yorkshire was done. 

We went to Brimham Rocks:

And Nunnington Hall:

And Hutton le Hole (where I stepped in the most enormous amount of sheep crap):

And Thirsk, just to see James Herriot's house:

And we frolicked around a lot in the ruins of Fountains Abbey, seeing as it was practically on our doorstep:
Yes, that's Char falling off the back of a snail that toddlers ride on.  She then fell over on a silver dish thing as well.  FALLER!

But on a more relaxed note, we also loafed round the cottage drinking tea and coffee, eating a lot of cake and reading many, many books. We also played an awful lot of board games:
Articulate and 221b Baker Street to be precise.

Had a very civilized day out in Harrogate (where I bought lots of jumpers) and enjoyed delicious afternoon tea at Bettys:

And did a fair amount of charity shopping as well.  I saw these in the Oxfam bookshop in Ripon and went "YOICKS!", did the patented Alex shelf-sweep manouevre and scampered to the till with them.  Want to know the best bit?  In total, for eight 1950s Georgette Heyer hardbacks, it cost £6.75.

A perfect thing to take away from a perfect holiday.