Thursday, 24 July 2014

20 things I will never understand

one : people who wear sunglasses on the tube. Actually, let's just make that the tube, full-stop.

two : wearing leggings as trousers. Especially when said leggings are a little more see-through than perhaps what is strictly necessary.

three : Alexander Armstrong, of Armstrong & Miller, fame. Otherwise known as Xander. He presents a show called Pointless. Apt some might say.

four : mullets. Of the hair variety. I'm okay with the fish.

five : running. I've tried. I've really tried. I've even done a half marathon. But not only do I find the whole thing painfully painful, I also find it painfully dull. I think I will just stick with walking.

six : mismatched socks.

seven : celebrity couple names. Brangelina, Bennifer, TomKat, Kimye. The list goes on.

eight : cigarettes.

nine : mobile phones with the beeping keyboards. You know the sort. When someone sends a text, and every key is a beep. All the way back from Paris. That was a fun trip.

ten : jaegarmeister. I'm not even really sure that's how you spell it. Either way, correct spelling or not, it does not appeal.

eleven : The One Show

twelve : people who don't drink tea. I wouldn't trust them.

thirteen : on that note, people who don't like dogs. I wouldn't trust them either.

fourteen : Reptile houses. Shudder.

fifteen : fad diets. I'm talking the sort of diets where you eat only protein, then only eat vegetables,  or where you don't eat for two days at all and then eat whatever you like. Maybe this means I will never be a size eight, but I think I'm okay with that.

sixteen : cake pops. I think I would just prefer a decent slice of cake thanks.

seventeen : coloured mascara. Have we gone back to the eighties?

eighteen : clubs. I can get hot and sweaty, surrounded by fools on the central line,  and I get to listen to my own music whilst I'm at. None of this modern day noise. And I won't have a hangover the next day. Well, I might, but that is more to do with the wine consumed on the sofa, than too many shots the night before.

nineteen : Dawn O'Porter.

twenty : tomatoes. Little devils.

Disclaimer: I'm not entirely sure what me in a boat has to do with things I don't understand. Which is probably a good enough reason to use it. One thing I did know was that I didn't want twenty pictures of things I don't understand littering the blog. No siree!

Disclaimer 2: I realise that a good proportion of the things I don't understand make me sound like an old fuddy duddy. I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

a red brick wall and a colourful playsuit

Every year, about July time, after one too many sleepless nights, endless battles against hair humidity, sweltering journeys on the central line, I decide that actually, I prefer Autumn. I'll happily swap dresses, sunglasses, suncream and trying to achieve that bikini body (mental note to self - never going to happen), for a thick duffle coat, a knitted scarf and a pair of muddy wellington boots. And this year is no different, except the fact that there is a certain colourful, embroidered playsuit that makes me think that summer isn't quite so bad after all.

One of my favourite dresses from many, many years ago, was a simple black dress, with the most pretty and colourful embroidery. Every time I wore the dress, i felt I should be wondering the pavements of Madrid, perhaps with a sangria in hand, or on a beautiful Spanish beach, with a sangria in hand. The dress is long gone, but this rather natty little playsuit by Rare London is its much searched for sister.

Brightly coloured and wonderfully easy to wear, the embroidered trim makes this playsuit the perfect accompaniment for hot summers days. Dresses in summer are a tricky beast. They are ideal on hot days, but a sudden gust of wind is your worst enemy. Shorts are fantastic, but can err a little on the casual side, but this playsuit will be your new best friend. Ideal on a hot day with sandals, this is just so easy to wear, and can be dressed up for the evening in an instant. It is loose and comfy, and the adorable, Spanish inspired, embroidery makes this playsuit just so wonderful. Everything else can be kept simple - hair tied back and minimal make-up. It is after all, far too tortuous to wear a full face of make-up in thirty degrees heat, especially when it slides off the minute you get on the Tube. I am still longing for Autumn, but will be more than happy to wear the embroidered playsuit countless, countless times whilst I am waiting.

What I wore
Topshop Tan Leather Sandals (old)

Monday, 21 July 2014

#lifelately : or an abundance of blooms

one : little lunchtime walks in West London, to escape the stuffy office, get a dose of vitamin e, and forget about office politics for twenty minutes. Stumbling across beautiful west London streets that have just stepped out of a Richard Curtis film.

two : finding beautiful, colourful flowers on Gloucester Place Mews.

three : finding more beautiful, colourful flowers in hanging baskets.

four : current daily make-up essentials. Which quickly disappear on a trip on the Central line.

five : spotting the Old Bailey on the way home.

six : oh look, more caranations.

seven : celebratory long lunch for a family birthday

eight : bunting in Surbiton

nine : the family

Thursday, 17 July 2014

I might be the villain of this story

"I read the story of Red Riding Hood today. I think the wolf was the most interesting character in it. Red Riding Hood was a stupid thing, so easily fooled". L.M.Montgomery

A book isn't a book without a villain. Villains add colour, add spice and add excitement. There is something so wonderfully attractive about nemesis of a book, especially one, who never, ever repents. Villains come in all shapes and forms, and the world of literature would be a much duller place without them. Here are a selection of the best.

one : Bellatrix Lestrange, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
A book list isn't a book list without Harry Potter. And whilst Voldermort tops many villain lists, there is one character whose wickedness makes He Who Must Not Be Named look a little wet. Bellatrix Lestrange is evil to the core. The most loyal of the Deatheaters, her devotion to her master borders on fanaticism. Wicked, sadistic, she tortured the Longbottoms to ruin, and worst of all in my eyes, she killed the wonderful, wonderful Sirius Black.
"You need to really want to cause pain, to enjoy it, righteous anger won't hurt me for long". 

two: Mrs Danvers, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Mrs Danvers, Mrs Danvers. The housekeeper at Manderley, is a wicked stalwart, rotten to the core and the embodiment of a gothic nightmare. She is continually described as death, with her white skill's face and yellow patches behind her eyes. She is another villain, fanatically obsessed with another. Not Voldermort clearly, but Rebecca, the first Mrs de Winter, her deceased mistress. She creeps around the house, along dark corridors, with one ear to a door. She is manipulative and a bully, and is determined to break up the marriage of the new Mrs de Winter and her master, Maxim, to such an extent, she urges Mrs de Winter to commit suicide.
"What's the use of your staying here at Manderley? You're not happy. Mr. de Winter doesn't love you. There's not much for you to live for is there? Why don't you jump now and have done with it? Then you won't be unhappy any more". 

three : Daniel Cleaver, Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding
Okay, okay, so admittedly, he is probably a different class of villain to the likes of Bellaxtrix Lestrange and the anti-hero of classic chick lit, Bridget Jones' Diary, but you have to admit, there is something all together dastardly about the dastardly Daniel Cleaver. This is after all, the chain smoking, treat 'em mean, keep 'em clean, womaniser, who breaks Bridget's heart, cheats on her with a woman who thinks that anything larger than a size eight is clinically obese, attempts to win her back when she is almost finally happy, beats up her love interest, well, twice, and then ditches her at the airport when she is mistakenly arrested for smuggling drugs and leaves her in a Thai prison. A keeper, he ain't.
"Thank you, Daniel, that is very good to know. But if staying here means working within ten yards of you, frankly, I'd rather have a job wiping Saddam Hussein's arse".

four : Bill Sikes, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
When you think of East London's finest, Bill Sikes doesn't spring to mind (whereas Walthamstow's finest, East 17 most certainly do...). But let's be honest, Bill Sikes has little, if any, redeeming features making him the wickedest of wicked villains. He is a thief, he is violent, he is a murderer and he beats dogs. If he was around today, not only would the police be knocking on his door, so would the RSPCA.
"It was a ghastly figure to look upon. The murderer staggering backward to the wall, and shutting out the sight with his hand, seized a heavy club and struck her down".

five : Cruella de Vil, 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
By and large, your perception of Cruella de Vil is largely dependent on your perception of dogs. As a huge fan of our four legged friends, Cruella de Vil (or Cruel Devil) is the archetypal villain. Her distinctive black and white hair, her love of pepper and fur coats, and her hatred of dogs, results in the most brutal of business plans. A fur coat made from Dalmatian puppies. Cue the great thievery of exactly one hundred and one Dalmatian puppies and the greatest doggy rescue the world has ever scene.
"But they're mongrels - all white, no spots at all! You must drown them at once".