The wonderings, ponderings and other 'ings' of me. Lifestyle, review, news and opinion posts. Chic with a hint of sarcasm... hopefully!

Wednesday 28 December 2011

Short changed by the Sales

It's a sorry state when you find yourself awake at 8am on a bank holiday. The only thing that cushions the blow would be knowing you get a head start on the sales, which is why my man and I found ourselves in town by 9.10am yesterday morning. However, the smug feeling I received from our early start was soon to be diminished when it became obvious there are bugger all bargains out there.

The January sale in days of old (or 5 years ago) was the one time you could guarantee to find that item you wanted but couldn't afford at a too good to be true price but times have changed. Sales now seem to consist of the crap they couldn't shift last year or a measly discount from the original inflated price. A certain COMPANY (that shall remain nameless, lets just say their items are mostly THE colour WHITE) is particularly guilty of this. Lined up by the front door their wares were displayed with big red sale tickets, beckoning you in for the promised prize. But as you get closer what will you see? 10% off. 10%! £3 off of a candle that was £30. This is not a sale, this is an insult, a crime against the consumer, its worse than the damn thing being so expensive in the first place. Do not patronise us, we know when we are being ripped off.

The Man in my life advises this is because the retailer doesn't really want to give us the sale or make the loss/break even on the item in question. That they are being cautious in these hard economic times, which is probably true (he's usually right about these things, don't tell him I told you so!) But I say now is not the time. Retailers, you should have been cautious years ago, these are now chips all in, guns blazing all or nothing days! Pissing off the average shopper, whose salary has stagnated or shrunk is a dangerous game and alienation from future spendage is all you will win.

Though I admit to being burned yesterday, the call of Ted Baker, Reiss and Oasis is tough to ignore, so I will venture out with my wounded heart and try again, though I have this advice for the retailers out there.

Give us a deal, a bargain, that feeling when we leave the shop with something desperately desired for less that half the original price and we will give you something that will keep you trading for many years to come, our loyalty.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

It's here (whether you're naughty or nice!)


That's it - I'm done with people killing the Christmas buzz! As most towns have now hooked up the Christmas lights to a megawatt plug and switched them on OFFICIALLY Christmas has started.  Anyone who says otherwise had better watch out (and better not pout) cos there is no getting away from it.

Honestly, you'd think that liking Christmas was akin to revering Hitler for all the protests I have encountered. A new one on me this year is that it is bad luck to sing a carol before December. Why?! what will happen? would an elf slide down your chimney and shove a sprig of holly up your bum? Bearing in mind the same person that told me this a) loves Christmas and b) was also taught if you see a magpie, you have to spit! I suggest the whole carol singing kibosh was made up by a mean spirited sibling. As I have many a day sung 'ding dong merrily on high' in the midst of October and am still here to tell the tale, I reckon we're safe to take the whole thing with a pinch of nutmeg.

And what's not to love? OK so sometimes the day itself can be a little anti-climactic, but if you start looking forward to it early, you have all the more time to enjoy the lead up. That's more days to:
Drink ginger laden lattes with a day's worth of calories in them, 
Wonder what the council were thinking when they decided gilded palm trees were festive Discuss what happens when you plan to fit 13 people around a 6 person table.

I get that in recent years it seems to have turned into a consumers wet-dream and that Christmas Adverts have taken a decidedly sloppy turn but for those of us that remember what it is really about it's still a bloody fabulous end to the year. If you can book a holiday 9 weeks prior to jetting off and spend the time leading up wondering what you'll do/what to wear when you get there you can definitely prattle on about presents, parties and mince pies a mere 23 days to the big one.

If your family are healthy and you have a couple of friends, I say it's time for some serious festive-getting!  And for those that still think it's too early, though maths isn't my strong point, I have the following to advise you of:

23 days = 552 hours. 
Take away:Approx. 120 hours for full-time work,
184 hours for sleep,
23 hours for lunch,
Approx 46 hours for travelling around,
23 hours for TV watching/housework (whichever you feel is more important).
23 for dinners
and that gives you only 133 hours of shopping time left. That's less than 6 days!

Compelling stuff huh?  You'd better get cracking.


Thursday 3 November 2011

Why SL?

The designer of the most coveted shoe in the world is a well-known figure. His celebrity followers are too numerous to mention, but are instantly recognisable when that red sole is flashed every time they pick up their feet. This wildly successful and highly recognised trademark has appointed Louboutin far above the already dizzying heights of desired couture. Popped a crown on his sweetly balding head and there it has stayed snug and happy for many a year.

It was inevitable that other houses would try to snatch the trophy away and while all is fair in fashion and war, I wouldn’t have expected the challenge to come in the form of a hissy fit. But Yves Saint Laurent, one of the oldest designer houses around, has literally stolen Louboutin’s idea and a) won't admit it or b) give it back.  Their actions are leaving a taste in my mouth which has definite arsenic undertones.

It started when YSL’s recent line included complete colour block, an idea which includes the sole of each offering being the exact same shade as the upper shoe. Fair enough, but their ‘Tribute’ heel in patent red therefore has a sole the exact colour of Louboutin’s. Louboutin has trademarked his red sole and therefore saw this as a blatant attempt to copy him, therefore his team insisted this be withdrawn from the line. YSL’s argument that colours can’t be patented was taken seriously by at least one judge that ruled in their favour, now the two houses are in the midst of a court case about the colour red!

Not life or death stuff I agree, and brand as grand as YSL behaving this way is just damned petty but the same can’t be said of Louboutin. If this were ignored or, worse still, should the ruling be upheld every Clarks, Dune and Primark will gleefully be running down to Homebase, bulk buying tins of rouge and splashing it all over the soles of shoes that have not received the Louboutin touch. As perception is all that matters Louboutin could find himself in the same position that Burberry were in when their most recognised tartan was copied and adopted by those they would have considered less desirable.

Having a coloured sole isn’t the problem. Blue, pink and even dogtooth patterned undersides have filtered down to the high street and the likes of Red or Dead have decorated their soles with an array of colours and designs with no problem. It's YSL's choice of that exact red that is the sticking point.

It’s not as if YSL are particularly hard up, their profits were $964.50 million last year so they don't need this to start up their struggling business.  Though I haven’t experienced what YSL shoes are like, I am in the incredibly lucky, blessed and damned fortuitous position to own some Louboutins. And yes they do cost more than a sane person would consider parting with for shoes, they are also mind numbingly beautiful, made of incredibly soft leather and for 4 inch platform heels, surprisingly comfortable.

Mr Louboutin (who rumour has it, has the spiritual backing of Tiffany’s - no doubt closely watching to see if their duck egg blue is the next colour on the chopping block) is obviously quite capable of fighting his own battle and has hired a troop of lawyers to spank the arse of YSL. To me this really does seem like the big rich frumpy kid trying to bully the big rich popular kid just because for the first time in their life they’ve been told they can’t have something.

With the ridiculous amount of destruction and terrorism in the world, a court case about bloody stupid idiots fighting over shades of scarlet seems as ridiculous as Kim Kardashian’s sham of a marriage but a bully is a bully so my point is really just this. YSL you don't need to be this pathetic you just need to grow up and go find your own niche!

Monday 19 September 2011

Red Carpet: Here we go again!

So its back, the award show that starts the whole season and which I used to think was named after my sister. The Emmys have been and gone and left us with lots of lovely (some at least) dresses to turn green over. This time I shall report on my girls in groups.

Safe but Successful
Never puts a foot wrong, perfect styling and always get it right, which unfortunately now seems a little dull (backlash is a bitch eh?). Queen of this gang is Lea Michele. Even she must be a little bored with herself.

Another starlet seeing red was Nina Dobrev, not such an old hand at this as Lea but still got the perfect thing going on and with Ian Somerhalder as her beau who wouldn't!

Makes a nice change

Usually opting for cleveage inducing cuts, Sofia Vigara went for the slightly more classic look and pulls it off with ease. Something worth trying again maybe?
While nothing can ever be said against the beautiful Dianna Agron (eh Foxy?) it was definitely nice to see her depart from the fairytale sweetness of her past red carpet offerings and graduate to this altogether more interesting and grown-up attire.

Heading for Hollywood Glamour

Rachel Evan Wood has this look down even with the boyish crop, Sparkly and elegant she's a contender for best dressed.

Well here's a girl who's really enjoying her new found skinniness! Though a dress that cuts above the knee makes the already quite short Kelly Osbourne look a little munchkinesque and the bad tattoos don't do her any favours, at least the colours great.

Getting it Wrong

Kerry Washington WORST DRESSED. Who are you and what is this supposed to be? tackiest thing I have seen in ages. In hooker red with a wipe clean look I think someone took a razor blade to it before she got out the car and poor Kerry didn't notice.

Normally one to get best dressed nominee, this dress by a Project Catwalk winner actually makes her look quite chubby. Unless congratulations are in order again?

Getting it Right

I have no idea who Kristen Wiig is (apparently I should but can't for the life of me remember if I have seen her in anything) however this chocolate creamy dream gown with a deep V works from every angle.

Jennifer Carpenter pulls another great look out of the hat and a clevage like that when you're this skinny is pretty miraculous. That's it girl, show Dexter what he's missing!

Edgy girls

I've had an interest in this girl since 'My So Called Life' (well more of an interest in Leto but you know what I mean!) and even more so after 'Stardust'. Claire Danes squeezes herself into the skin of a mermaid, rubs coal all over her eyes and looks 'Mazing!

Saving the best for last BEST DRESSED Heather Morris, sick of Lea and Dianna stealing the limelight knocked them both out of the park with this breathtaking silky grey gown with a deep V neck and fish-scale detail. Nice one lady.


Tuesday 9 August 2011

I predict a.... oh wait, too late!

Though I said this blog would be a book review, I can't not comment on the situation in London and and now pretty much the rest of the UK.

I'm not for one minute saying there is any reason for what's going on (other than all out anarchy) but I can't say I'm that surprised by it. Hand out freebies to a generation of uneducated, ill-parented, ignorant citizens, get stuck in a recession worse than we've seen in years and start taking police off the streets due to cutbacks, and it's sort of obvious at some point mindless destruction is about to kick your door down and steal you wares.

The government asking parents 'do you know where your children are' is pointless as in the majority of cases the answer is 'yes, we've sent them down the road to get 3 new TV's and a bunch of trainers'.

If I were in the business of sweeping generalisations, I'd say members of the 'you owe me' society, are at the peak of feeling hard done by. With little to look forward to in the way of education or lifestyle and food and petrol prices at an all time high even decent people are getting desperate. Encouraged to reclaim the streets for themselves by organised gangsters (even if they do have the latest blackberry in their hands as they bemoan their financial situation) gives power to their poor me mentality. Now the opportunity has arisen, sparked from a peaceful protest by one family to find our what happened to their kin, to vent their rage and kick the crap out of their own community.

These losers (I mean looters) appear to think the rest of the world has it easy and they are taking what's owed to them while the every day business owner suffers at their hands. It's a job and a half to try to explain to people that have no empathy, pretty much everyone is in stook for money at the moment. But at some point we do need someone to try and get through to them rather than just hate them. Seeing as its mainly musicians and footballers that these kids respect, I reckon its beyond time the N-Dubs and Rooneys of this world started doing something worthwhile and get on their twitter and facebook accounts. Better still take to the streets and urge them to stay home.

And while it looks like a zombie apocalypse is on its way, there is something good to come from even this. With locals coming together and volunteering to clean up the street, some that even blocked rioters by forming a human barricade therefore stopping them from getting further towards residential areas, we know that the destructive youth are still the minority.

The word community may mean nothing to the dipsticks that are plundering their own towns, but it does to these people. Now that's a true Brit!

Wednesday 3 August 2011

Reviewing The Slap

So I've decided since my last post, enough of reading papers that are full of lies or death, and opted instead to read a couple of books. Hopeful that the outcome would result in a little culture, a little broadening on my fictional horizons and so on I joined a book club and the first book assigned to us was called The Slap.

Set in Australia the story follows several peoples views of one guy slapping a kid, that wasn't his, at a BBQ. Not the sort of book I would normally go for but I gave it a shot none the less. What a waste of several hours that was. Having read the word c**t on the first page I knew it was going to be hard going. Though its obviously meant to be push buttons as this continues the whole way through the book, the language was only the tip of a rather pathetic iceberg.

All the characters, without exception, are possibly the most retarded bunch of fuck wits I have ever read about with minimal redeeming features in their personalities or actions. The book is supposed to pose the question 'should he or shouldn't he have done it'.  When taking into account the fact that the child is horribly spoilt having never been disciplined, still breastfeed well past the age of developing teeth and was about to hit another child its pretty easy to conclude that he had it coming.  What's worse the hitter is far from likeable but at the end of the day you just don't care!

Critics claim it to be controversial but it's about as provocative as a bully walking into a room and purposefully starting on everyone there, itching for a fight. Trying to come off as mature and groundbreaking The Slap reminds me more of a teenager swearing its head off at the dinner table in front of his parents because they think its a grown up though looks anything but.

Winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2009 and an international best seller I feel sure that those who voted for it were raised in a psychiatric hospital. I'd also hazard a guess that the writer has never in his life had a relationship with a real woman (except for his mother and the myriad of prostitutes I suspect he frequently visits) as his perception of what it means to be female is blinkered at best and dangerously inaccurate at worst.

I couldn't even send it to a charity shop when I finished reading as much of it as I could stomach.  Mainly because I couldn't live with myself if this action had inflicted such drivel on another member of the human race. The only way I can see this book being of use to anyone is if they had just had a particularly large bowel movement and only afterwards realised that there was no toilet roll.

Thursday 7 July 2011

NOT Worth the paper its printed on?

I don't read the News of the World so you may think I don't have an opinion on it latest antics (unless you know me quite well and realise I have an opinion on most things). I do know its type though, but that's not my issue either. Trashy papers will always be written as long as people want to read them. I should point out that I regularly watch E! Entertainment so am not adverse to some mind numbing reporting myself, but it doesn't pretend to be real journalism. If Keeping up with the Kardashians started to be described as a hard hitting documentary rather than a voyeuristic glance in the lives of the rich and aimless I'd have a problem with that too. It's the Murdoch hypocrisy that has warranted this rant.

It's obvious to anyone that has half a molecule of respect or empathy for human life that the whole phone hacking malarky was an utterly shit thing to do. There is a special layer of hell reserved for people that delete messages from a murdered teenagers phone thereby giving false hope to her parents that she's alive. But rather than own up to behaviour that was carried out under his leadership, Murdoch gave a statement written by the king of Delusionville.

Speaking of the paper Murdock said it has 'a proud history of fighting crime, exposing wrong doing and regularly sets the news agenda for the nation'. Bearing mind the 'top stories' on their website include some model thinking Prince Harry is better in bed than Jenson Button (something I highly doubt!) Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's boobs, celebrity weddings and a gypsy divorce, this is a pretty laughable comment.

Of his misdemeanors he continues 'The company made out-of-court settlements approved by me, I now know that I did not have a complete picture when I did so'. Not really owning up to anything there. Rounding up his speech he said to his workers 'your good work is a credit to journalism'. You'd think the workers of NOTW were literary batmen (and batgirls) rather than gossip columnists.

I don't believe for a moment that shutting down NOTW is a humble gesture especially as rumour has it that Murdoch applied for 'The Sun on Sunday' 2 days before his statement yesterday. If he was honest I reckon he would have said something like this:

'News of the World will do anything for a story, good or bad its what we do and millions of nimrods love it. The only reason I'm making this speech at all is because it looks like the right thing to do. I might lay low for a while but giving this weekend's News of the World revenues to 'good causes' (note the clever non disclosation of which causes) will affect my pocket about as much as a £60 speeding ticket affects a footballer.
Up yours.

p.s. Obviosuly this is all just a personal opinion and I'd apologise to News of the World readers for insulting them with this blog if I thought a) they'd read anything that didn't surround Ryan Giggs' love life and b) they knew what the word meant.

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Wot Ryan Done

I obviously never knew Ryan personally. He seemed like the kind of guy that just wanted to make people laugh (or gross them out depending on you perception of 'funny') so a guy like that dying really is a shame. It's genuinely and deeply sad for the people that did know and love him, but the reaction of some to his death (or reaction to the reaction to his death as it were) is what's really concerning.

The first thing I wondered was who the heck are all the people weighing in on the Twitter war between Bam Margera and Roger Ebert as I am doing now but at least on a personal blog (not a site either of those involved are likely to see).

For those that haven't heard, the day the news broke Ebert wrote 'Friends don't let jackasses drive drunk' and Margera responded '"I just lost my best friend, I have been crying hysterically for a full day and piece of shit roger ebert has the gall to put in his 2 cents."

One man who knew Dunn and one who didn't hashing it out is bad enough but the myriad of average Joes who feel the need to add their opinion without seeming to at least imagine themselves in either Eberts or Margera's position really is insane. That they also spew comments, harsh in judgement, telling Bam to grow up or that Ebert should die! but not even leave a real name stinks of cowardice (and I can say that here knowing most of you do know me and if any don't I'm happy to send you my personal email address should you want it!)

No one wants to hear a stranger speaking badly about a friend, much less on the day they died no matter what the circumstances. Bam's reaction is one of grief, he's just lost one of his best mates, someone that he spent many years with and loved like a brother. Ebert's comments would have just added a huge dollop of guilt into the mass of emotions Bam was already experiencing so lets just lay off telling him to grow up the same week he's working though his loss.

To say Ebert's timing is 'a bit' off is like saying reality TV stars are 'a bit' fame hungry. I'm not one who is known for their tact, having in the past asked friends if they've worn a item of clothing 'on purpose" and pointing out to my sisters when they look a bit pudgy (its never meant with malice and normally a byproduct of diarrhea mouth or a poor sense of comic timing). So God knows I'm not one to judge but I do wonder what Ebert thought he would achieve by the comment?

It's highly possible Dunn had been drinking (we wont know for sure until the toxicology tests are finished) and even if he had been stone cold sober, he was driving recklessly at over 120 mph. Ebert must have known that Dunn's friends and family could see his twitter and once it's out there in the twitterverse its out for good. Ebert's comment looks to be of the knee-jerk variety and that's how kids respond to things, not adults that should have a smidgen of empathy available to them and bloody well know better.

The other thing I wondered was if Dunn hadn't been famous would we really all feel so forgiving about his actions? Had we all found out an ordinary dude (allegedly) drank 3 beers, 3 shots and then drove themselves off a road in Chester I suspect most of the people saying Ebert should 'have some respect' would quickly move their judgement over to the other side and be harping on about drink driving themselves.

If anything good was to come from the events that day it would be for us to remember not to drink and drive or to put the kibosh on our speeding in general. So if you do see someone inebriated looking to drive home, for fuck's sake take the keys off of them! It could easily be one of your friends or family whose life your actions saved by stopping said drunkard from driving away.

Here endeth my sermon.

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Morons in Chelsea

A gay man pretending to be straight (whilst looking for eyelash curlers?), the world's thickest simpleton and a stuck up jewellery designer doesn't sound like the kind of people worth investing your time. And they're not, but these are some of the cast of the latest 'reality' tv series Made in Chelsea.

The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE) proved that people will always watch other people, no matter how bird-brained they seem to be. Now that The Hills has finished E4 thought there to be a gap in the market for another show about the upper crust and so Made in Chelsea (MiC) was born. As far as I can tell its mainly about a bunch of toffee-nosed, stuck-up, long haired, fake tanned bitches (and that's just the boys) running around mucking up their own and their friends love lives. The voyeur in me, intrigued by their lifestyle thought I should sit down and I do what I do best, pass judgement on people I know little about, purely because they enter my lounge through the magic of television:

Lets start with my favourite, Hugo.

Nowhere near as attractive as he thinks he is, this one does at least manage to take the piss out of the rest of the cast, himself and most of all his mate...

Impossible to be taken seriously but does a great job of showing that anyone called Spencer on a reality show is an absolute tool. Seeing some model but still has feelings for...

Caggie (what the heck it that short for!?)
The narator of the first episode and so I suppose is meant to be the Lauren Conrad of the group. She lacks the friendliess or comedy of Lauren but she can hold a tune. Best friends with...

I get the feeling she was a massive trouble maker at school and though this photo doesn't show it needs to lay off the fake tan/foundation a bit. Seems to be into Hugo at the moment but was having a fling with...

There are no words to describe what an absolute tosspot this guy is, how he's a model escapes me and what's with the hair?! Best friends with...

Was once photographed with Emma Watson and is quoted as saying 'I'm in the diamond business because I like beautiful things'. Riiiight and I'm sure that your daddy leaving you a diamond mine had nothing to do with it eh? Friends with...

Without a doubt the most stuck up one of the lot and do you get the feeling her face was smacked in with a shovel to give it that oval look? Would never deem to stoop so low as to speak with...

Does this guy seriously not know he is gay? I am sure once he comes out he'll be less of a bitch. Just broke up with...

Maybe one of the dumbest creatures on the planet. If your boyfriend looks like the guy above and doesn't want to spend any time alone with you 'He's Just Not That Into You! (or anyone of your gender).

Unfortunately for the above pillocks, MiC is unlikely to be as popular as The Hills was or TOWIE is due to one major problem, likeability, a trait that most of this lot are rather lacking.

With The Hills you had sweet but stupid Audrina, Lauren whose friend you'd want to be and, more importantly, was scripted to introduce you to everyone and recap so that you felt included and Whitney who were the good guys. Then there was Lo, Kristen and Heidi who were the black hat wearers.

You could take sides and bothered to see how they were doing each week because you cared about them, with MiC if they all fell off their luxury yachts I'm not sure anyone would notice, let alone mind.

The producers of MiC should know that Caggie's intro ('You may have heard Chelsea is all that and its true, I should know because this is my world) won't warm us to the show. Add to that some bofount haired posh boy in a wanky green velvet jacket saying 'high street clothes are not acceptable under any circumstances' and congratulations you've just alienated 95% of audience.

TOWIE's appeal (or so I'm told) is that you can laugh at them for their stupidity or ignorance, with MiC the same stupidity is there but they get to wear better shoes and clothes and go out to lavish dinners, drinking champagne and generally living it up and without someone there that you feel friendly towards its all just rather annoying. You end up hoping they'll all fall over their 5" Louboutins and shoot each other in the face with their country manor shot guns.

I suspect I'll see it through to the bitter end in 5 weeks time, but if it gets picked up for another series I'll eat my Phillip Tracey.


Sunday 1 May 2011

Regal Eagles

So first off, massive apologies for not saying before that I was at Thee Wedding. Kate had sworn me to secrecy and I conceded only when she hinted that her new granny was thinking of making her and Wills Duke and Duchess of my town. Now its all over I can report the goss.

I was one of the first to arrive (so you probably wouldn’t have seen me). Fashion wise, it wasn’t the outfits taking centre stage, it was the hats and there was a smorgasbord of adornings mainly by the hat king, Philip Treacy. Giving a whole new meaning to the phrase giving head, Mr T. decided everyone would look like their fascinators were about to fall off as the style seemed to be place it on your forehead and hope it stays there by sheer force of fashion. A little 'emperors new clothes' if you ask me but as most of the royals were doing it, the talking point was more the colours and cut than the creative director’s thoughts behind the placement.

As she arrived I noticed Princess B and so did the rest of the world. Possibly in a bid to remind everyone that her mum wasn't invited but she was here and wasn’t about to blend in with the crown, her nude lobster-esk headpiece had everyone talking (there's even a facebook group dedicated to it!)

Yes it was over the top but if you can't look like a well dressed mental patient at your cousin, who just happens to be the future king's wedding when can you? Personally I preferred her sister Eugenie's blue hat with a neutral feather and purple flower, she looked like an eighteenth century princess and seemed way more comfortable.

Celebrity paled in comparison, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson looked like a cross between something from the Wizard of Oz and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Luckily Victoria Beckham brought a little class back in her Phillip Treacy navy structured creation. Still haven’t seen her smiling though.

Onto the dress which I caught a glimpse of after Kate had been walking for a proximately 2.36 minutes, it was of course lovely. Kate looked incredibly regal in her Sarah Burton (so McQueen) dress with a sweet neckline, but under all that serious amount of lace it was, dare I say, a little dull?

I can confirm that what Harry said to Wills when he turned to look at his brother's bride to be was 'yep she's hot and I would' but in the end, between stopping Vicky downing any champagne and marching up to the new princess to demand why she didn’t wear one of her creations and forcing Ellie to drink something to calm her nerves before the couple’s first dance, I was really quite exhausted.

I’m really much more looking forward to M&R’s wedding in June, and I promise not to be so secretive when its Harry’s turn.

Disclaimer: 99.9% of this post is made-up.


Monday 18 April 2011

Regression Therapy

Maybe it’s down to the fact that I now have a mortgage, a pension, expensive shoes and most of the things that make a grown up a grown up, but I think I’m in the midst of some sort of teenage regression. The evidence is provided for your inspection:

Exhibit A:
Musical taste: The last two albums I bought were by Taylor Swift and Ke$ha (and this was before Ke$ha was featured on Glee so I can’t even blame that for my evoling tastes). Even more embarrassingly, I’m loving the quirky, somewhat risqué lyrics from Ke$ha and working out who Taylor is sad about splitting up with (Joe J) hates (Camille) or considers is still a child even thought they are about a decade older than she is (isn’t that right Kanye?) I guess the only saving grace here is that I haven’t caught Bieber fever and am still quite looking forward to his first drug overdose.

Exhibit B:
TV Taste: Currently done with True Blood (not that I don’t like it, just waiting for the next season) my latest series finds me watching girls literally half my age. Pretty Little Liars is about school girls who lie and a frenemy they share who may or may not be dead that seems set on texting them about their dodgy exploits. Said exploits they are so desperate not to share but insist on repeating (thereby making the likelihood of getting caught all the more probable) revolve around hooking up with older sisters fiancés, teachers and other girls.

I could pretend that I just happen to be watching it as there is nothing else on but my ‘co-incidentally’ sitting down and turning on MTV every Thursday at 8pm isn’t particularly fooling my husband, or anyone else for that matter. I’m also having a full on conniption fit waiting for Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries to come back. Which leads me nicely onto…

Exhibt C
Crushes: I thought these would be things of the past once I bought my first pair of Louboutins (you knew I would get that in here somewhere didn’t you?) but once I caught myself thinking ‘those McFly boys have grown up a lot haven’t they?’ I realised it was a phase far from over. Luckily a little goggling confirms that my current interests are reassuringly similar to my own age even if they do play college students and vampires (cliché or what eh?)

Exhibit D
Tantrums, proper ones: From not being able to think of what my next blog would be about sulks to the full-on foot stomping ‘I want a golden egg daddy’ strop I threw in a garden centre last Sunday. What was my compliant you ask? well having worked extremely hard digging up dying/dead or unwanted plants in my back garden (an activity my nails still haven’t forgiven me for partaking in) I was advised I couldn’t have the newer, prettier and altogether more fabulous plant I wanted. In my dad’s defence, he was only pointing out that it would become quite large and needed a little TLC. He knows my gardening skills are on par with my needlework skills and as I once managed to sew my skirt to the top I was wearing whilst darning a hem you’ll understand his concerns. In my defence, it was really pretty and I wanted it.

So maybe I am acting like a proper princess but I'm sure I've read in a reputable journal somewhere that crushes help release endorphins which makes you healthy and widening musical tastes keep your brain active and therefore means I’ll be less inclined to say things like ‘I remember when this was all trees’ and ‘not in my house you don’t’ and rubbish like that.

Just to update you, I got the plant I wanted from the garden centre in the end anyway, which goes to show temper tantrums are a valid form of communication even, if you are 34.

Saturday 19 March 2011

Its a Fashion Fiesta!

In stark contrast to last weeks blog, on Friday I got to go to the Grand Arcade Spring/Summer Fashion event where the high end high street names get to tell us what they think we should wear. I've always thought that fashion is subjective, if you like something, you like it, but its from you not because a magazine or a fashion house tells you this is what's going to be worn over the next few months.

That said I'm starting to gain much more interest in knowing what it is the powers that be at Bryant Park (or the Lincole Center from now on) throw out for us and how that filters down to what is stocked by Ted Baker, LK Bennett and Zara etc so here's my highlights:

This strapless gown in oceanic colours had me cursing the fact that I'd left my credit card at home, it flowed beautifully and the statement necklace really worked.
This cute floral print dress had three layers on the skirt and though it was a little short for me I'd still wear it to the pub or a picnic, however....
Feel free to tell me if am I having a a fashion fuck-up moment here, but I want to pair it with this jacket.

Nautical stripes are a trend I am only just starting to mesh with and this dress definately caught my attention as the flower design really made it look feminine and pretty, the bag was gorge as well.

This cutie pie prom dress from Coast was fabulous, not sure I could get away with it though - I have man calves, sad but true.

Not usually a fan of the one shoulder dress (a bit too Dynasty for me), this splatter paint look really appeals and the length of the skirt more than covers ya arse. Yay !

For the flip side, this look had me wondering what the heck is going on with the fashion world? Orange and Pink?! I'm just not that brave/desparate to be a trend setter.
So there you go, I love the fact that so many looks were worn with nude heels as I have just purchased a pair (LK Bennett are having a spring sale so these are £95 - quite a saving there!)

Doesn't it look like fun being a model?


Sunday 13 March 2011

Charity Quest

  1. Whilst certain other bloggers I know are swanning around New York darting in and out of Sax 5th Avenue in a shoppers dream (I am not jealous South Molten St Style I am not jealous) I decided an interesting experiment would be for me to explore the other side of shopping. Quite well known for my desire for High-End High Street (as well as having Net-a-porter flirtations) with the exception of buying Christmas cards, I have never ever willingly stepped into a charity shop.

    I figured if I was going to do this, I should do it properly so, armed with an expert in the field and £40 I ventured to a mystical place called Saffron Walden, which on a sunny Saturday is really beautiful. Especially when you get to my age and things like fields, Churches and market stalls full of flowers and cakes become strangely appealing.

I was informed there are rules to Charity shopping:
  1. Its not work purchasing if it's over £5.00.
  2. Its not worth purchasing if its not an established label (Jigsaw yes, George no)
  3. You have to rummage.
This last one was particularly difficult for me as I'm not a rummager, its just not in my DNA, the very act of moving one hanger over to look at a top properly has never really appealed. I'm much more the 'here's a glass of wine madam' while I glide through a large well lit concept store where the clothes are all separated for your viewing pleasure type. But I went into this with an open mind and was determined to wrap my head around the idea of buying something that somebody else had deemed not worth keeping. First off, we went to Wurrl, (half vintage/half new fair trade clothes and nic-knacks - my expert was breaking me in gently) and this wasn't that bad actually.
I almost found a scarf that I might have liked had it been in Accessorise, and it was at this point I realised it was a battle with my brain. It was wrapped around a wire casing (the scarf that is, not my brain) and I wasn't distracted enough from the 'charity shop smell'. Images of the crammed too close together clothes seeped in to my vision and took the edge off any shopping buzz that may have been building, I pondered a bit too long and moved on.

Next I was allowed a reprieve and we entered a beautiful kitchen shop called Steamer Trading Cookshop

This housed NEW kitchen appliances, including a strawberry slicer, for those of us too delicate to cut our own. I found this mixer in bright pink, but at £418.95 it would have severely blown my budget so we moved on empty handed.

Cancer research was next and this was as you'd expect but I was more prepared this time.
I found the rail with my size on and did my best impression of a real rummager, I don't think I was fooling anyone but the hot and cold flushes had gone and I wasn't feeling as dizzy which I took to be a step in the right direction. I was actually looking forward to the next part of our venture, the anticipation of what I may find building as we entered St Clare Hospice shop.

Now here was a charity shop I thought I could get on board with. There was the obligatory elderly ladies tea set (as well as the obligatory elderly ladies behind the counter) and an array of heart shaped trinket dishes, candles and other finds, I eagerly picked up 2 or 3 items and went to the counter.
And found the failure of charity shops as I see it. Had it been wrapped in coloured paper and put in a beautiful box with swirly writing on it, and had that box been placed in a hard shiny bag, I would have made a point of returning there again and again. What did I get? a screwed up Clinton cards bag, worse, when my chosen objects didn't fit that properly it was replaced with a Tesco's carrier!

Putting beautiful items in a supermarket bag is like putting a yellow canary in a rusty dark dank cage, its just wrong. I was still pleased with myself and showed the purchases to my expert, who kindly explained that it a bit of a cheat as the items I had bought were 'new' not 'second hand'. This I feel is the charity shop's fault I had no idea I was being lulled into buying first hand items, can I be blamed if I gravitate towards the shinny shinnies, I'm shallow like that, I like things to look pretty when I buy them otherwise why buy them at all?

We decided it was still a win and pressed on through the high street towards the British Heart Foundation. Where again I found my 'proper shops brain' played another trick on me. Stood on the pavement I looked for BHF and genuinely couldn't see it, which is bizarre to say the least as it looks like this...

Not particularly a shy and retiring colour eh? To me though, its like those weird pictures we had in the 90's that look all messy but when you relaxed your eyes you could see a ship or a car or something in them. This is how my brain attacks charity shops, it just sifts them out of my perception and I have a fondness for this particular charity as well as my dad had a quadruple heart bypass a couple of years ago so in we went. I didn't see any clothes I liked but I did pick up some lovely nail files with hearts all over them (new not second hand). It seemed I was on something of a role.

Next we came to the most well known charity shop for me. Well known because as a teenager, my mum would go in and I would refuse to. My fifteen year old brain though it would be 'like well bad' to be seen shopping with my mother but also to be in a 'gypo' shop, well that would be just too much to handle.

Oxfam has really come a long way since my youth. With its array of Fair Trade coffees, teas, chocolate and even Easter eggs, as well as the face lift it got a good few years back it really has upped its game, the clothes? not so much.

So am I a fully fledged charity convert? Well that's debatable. I had such a great time and as a new experience in shopping it was a really enjoyable day. In certain places like Saffron Walden and Hampstead Heath I will definitely go in, unabashed, ashamed and at least attempt to find a bargain, but now I have a few rules of my own:

1. No to trousers or jeans, its just too weird.
2. No to shoes. Until charity shop shoes look like my new footwear crush, Beatrix Ong, its just never gonna happen.

3. No to going in with a closed mind. Occasionally a Hobbs top or Jigsaw jacket will be there, its just, you know, y'have to rummage!
For Emma, thanks for popping my charity cherry.
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