Saturday, 29 October 2011

Sentimental old fool

I`ve realised lately that sentiment and hoarding go hand in hand. The reason for me holding on to the things i do are due to sentiment, before i began gallivanting in the name of fashion i used to keep concert stubs, festival wrist bands and souvenirs from nights out, nothing sordid, may i add, just props i would pick up in clubs; tiaras, wands, photo key rings...that sort of junk, but since learning the art of travelling with a capsule wardrobe i automatically began to streamline all the other parts of my life, as i wasn`t living in one place i stopped acquiring "stuff" as i didn't feel like i had anywhere to store it. I did however continue to buy clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories, and although in comparison to some people, i am ruthless when it comes to a clear out, there are somethings i just cant bear to part with, sometimes its because the item cost me so much, the memory of paying for it still stings, sometimes its because it holds memories of fun times had wearing it, I have really old "going out" bags that have earned names, like Jagger and Horsehead, when something has a name you cant just fling it out, they are like pets to me, very old, tired looking pets with the odd drink stain on them.

My retrospective state of mind was triggered by a pair of shoes i wore to a recent party, a beautiful pair of red wine velvet platforms with a block heel, i bought them years ago and they are like new, i should wear them more i thought, what a waste...when i began to walk in them, i remembered why i dont wear them, i looked down to find my pinky toe on each foot hanging perilously out like small chipolatas, but at the end of the night, regardless of the discomfort and despite the unattractive toe situation, still i put them back in my wardrobe, shoes that are useless but beautiful, only women can appreciate this.

My friends are breeding at an astonishing rate, the domino effect is raging, literally, so everything from my maternity clothes to Tilly`s new born baby bits are already having their second wind. I felt compelled to hold back some bits, her first dress, ok, makes that plural, dresses, her first shoes, that sort of thing, but am not sure where i should stop. I recall being asked if i had kept her belly button stump (i didn't) i felt terrible, was i cold hearted? should i keep every last thing she ever wears/touches/vomits on? I think common sense must prevail, i cant bear the thought of waste (i am a keen recycler, becoming a mum has turned me ever so swampy-esque, i will be growing tomatoes next) my mum often berates herself for the things she didn't keep, i have always maintained the opinion you cant keep everything, it just isn't feasible, particularly as i am 1 of 6 children, had we of kept all our old clothes and toys there would have been no room in the house for us to live in it. Among our hospital bracelets, christening robes, first party dresses and other nik naks, one thing my mum has kept, which always makes me smile was the top i wore when i first went to a "club" a rather fetching pink off the shoulder gypsy top with a single haberdashery rose gracing the neckline...i wonder if that will ever get a its second wind??

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Bear with a sore head

I am not one to moan, a`hem, but the past 2 weeks i have been in the wars a little bit. First of all i opted for a tooth extraction rather than wait for the underlying abscess to rear its ugly head and, cause me toothache, but the process of removing my unusually large back molar wasn`t straight forward, it resisted the dentists tools until the bitter end, we have been together a long time my molar and i, and it wasn't leaving the warm confines of my mouth without a fight, so for the past few days i have been cupping my face like a wounded bear, and accessorising my swollen jaw with the occasional yelps, which inevitably become more frequent when people are in ear shot. As if this wasn't enough my exczema has flared up on my writing hand, and to discourage my scratching the pharmacist suggested a wear cotton gloves, so i bought the only option available, a packet of white cotton gloves, but as the rash is only on one hand, it was only necessary for me to wear one glove, so for the past few days i have been sporting one white cotton glove and much to the boyfriends amusement have forgotten on several occasions to remove it in public, paying a car park attendant and signing for a parcel both while wearing a single cotton glove, like my very own silent tribute act.

You will be pleased to hear I soldiered on through, and was brought sharply down to earth when i took my little baba to the hospital herself, after being breach for so long the paediatrician wanted to scan her hips to check for displacement (or clicky hips as its known) seeing her tiny little body wriggling while Grandad held her legs still and the radiographer rolled her onto her side broke my heart, not even Eskimo kisses from her mummy could stop her visible distress, speaking of Hospitals...............

This week the Imagine Appeal Clothes Throw is finally upon us, this incredible charity raises money for Alder Hey Childrens Hospital, an incredible place which treats 250,000 little patients every year...this year they are holding fashion shows and auctioning Celebrity/Designer donated items from Joan Collins,DVF, Helmut Lang to name a few, i supported this charity before Tilly came along, but it feels even closer to my heart now...

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Hierarchy madness

I may have been watching a little too much Downton Abbey, but i am growing rather fond of the idea / concept of "dressing for dinner" I think this may be due to the fact my day to day wardrobe is more casual than i have ever known. In the years BB (before baby) my mid week wardrobe was work wear and  evening wear also known as my "going out clothes"  the colour scheme was predominantly black and my weekend wardrobe was an amalgamation of both.
Now i am on Maternity leave i have been forced to reassess my day to day ensemble, i now want to look a little less "stiff" when i am out and about, black skinny jeans have been a Winter staple of mine for a few years now, but they aren't very casual or cozy looking are they? my recent trip to a play group indicated that blue jeans are the wash of choice for the majority of mums, you may wonder why i feel the need to observe other mums "day wear" but having spent so long working in fashion, seeing women wearing leather leggings and 5" heels at 9am has become the norm` for me, the fash pack rarely bother with practicality and comfort, a colleague told me she gets very funny looks at the playground from the other mums when she rocks up in the latest trend...i wonder what they will make of Fetish this season?

I get great pleasure from sorting out my wardrobe at the change of seasons, it is cathartic for me, recently, with baby safely deposited at Chez Grandparents i headed into the loft to retrieve my Winter warmers. Having spent time perusing the glossy magazines, poring over the new Autumn Winter collections i couldn't help feeling slightly disappointed with what i found, i almost expect to find the things Ive been lusting after just loitering there, but alas there were no plum suede boots nor a fur trimmed parka, ho hum...its a good job i have spotted just the ticket!

As my day to day routine for now doesn't involve going to work, i find myself keeping certain clothes for when i actually step out of the door, i have always had a "wardrobe tier" system of sorts but i seem to have taken it to another level. In the past i have insisted i don't keep things for best, as inevitably you don't get enough wear out of things to justify buying them, i have always stood by the price per wear motto (where by you divide the total cost of the item by the number of times you have worn Item cost £250 : Number of times worn : 10 : Cost per wear £25) at the moment i am struggling to make this work for a large majority of my wardrobe so i have created an unintentional hierarchy. Most of us have Evening wear / Day wear / work wear, but when recently editing my pyjamas / hanging around the house  clothes (known in our house as slummies) i realised i was separating them something like this

  • Nice Pyjamas
  • Things i would answer the door in
  • Only suitable for cleaning up in
You may think this is an indication i have too much time on my hands, which may be a fair observation, but its really more of a case of needing to have things organised, on a daily basis i find myself wearing a little splash of vomit somewhere, like a baby badge of honour, so having my wardrobe organised enough to be able to reach for a replacement top/dress at a moments notice makes things a little easier, i am not quite there yet, and on occasion i find my outfit still a dash too formal for a trip to the supermarket, on occasion i look like I've just come from work...but slowly slowly catchee monkey, and i think perhaps i will opt for some Aubergine skinny cords, my version of blue jeans.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Time please ladies & gents

For the record i am 29 years old, there are times when i feel 100 but the majority of the time i still think i am 21, in my head i still look 21 too, although driving past Liverpool University last week and seeing a gaggle of "freshers" reminded me i am not, i would look like a member of the Goonies in the get ups these girls were rocking, they were all head scarves tied over grey / blonde hair, peter pan collars over cropped t shirts and denim cut offs, (watch an episode of X Factor and you`ll see this demonstrated perfectly)

Another reason for my reflective mood probably has something to do with receiving a letter to inform me that my driving licence picture needs renewing, i am rather perturbed as i quite like my picture, it looks nothing like me, i am blonde, tanned (i was partial to a sunbed or 6 back then) and my pose is one of pure unadulterated vanity, i genuinely don't want to change it...i knew i should have pickled my face back then.

Having a baby has the bonus effect of making you feel very grown up, the sense of responsibility is a shock, and the fact your life will never be the same again, Before having our little baba, Boyfriend and I both agreed that we didnt want to retire from having a social life, i felt too young to hang up my dancing shoes, the boyfriend said something along the lines of "there is life in the old dog yet".
I was so excited about our new addition but i knew then i wanted her to be just that, an addition to our lives, this may sound unbelievably selfish but my siblings and friends all seem to have a great balance of work/family/social life, combining the latter is easier now the majority of our group have children, we also have the added bonus of having very accommodating (read: willing to babysit) parents, so have had the luxury of being able to go out as a couple.

Although i wasn't so quick to catch on to the other elements of my life that would have to be changed or at least amended slightly, when baba was 10 weeks old we took her to a friends wedding down south, we were blissfully ignorant to how difficult it was going to be taking such a young baby to a 2 day event, my mum repeatedly offering to babysit Tilly for the weekend should have been a slap-in-the-face clue. I was so concentrated on our wedding attire i didn't give a moments thought to my little ones feeds/naps fitting in with the wedding schedule, with no "routine" in place and in hindsight this short sighted of me. So off we went, the car yet again packed up like a sardine can, We arrived at the ceremony on time, so far so good...then no sooner had the beautiful bride entered the Church did Tilly decide she wanted her bottle, and the noise she made indicated she did not want it in 20 minutes, she wanted it right now, this moment, chop chop, sharpish, Boyfriend and i were like a SWAT team and the bottle was made, shaken and inserted into her mini cake hole within seconds, panic over.

My next challenge was to negotiate the remainder of the day in vertiginous heels whilst holding baba, add champagne to this scenario and i have to confess, for the first party in my heel wearing career i changed into flats, sparkly flats, but non the less i admitted defeat and accepted this was the only life has now officially changed beyond recognition! We lasted until midnight, baba fast asleep in her pram and us taking it in turns to do what can only be described as the parent equivalent of dad dancing, on the dance floor, pushing the pram to the beat of the music......ssssshhhhh i promised boyfriend it was our little secret.....

Thanks to for the image, No Dad Dancing sign available at