Showing posts with label clothes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label clothes. Show all posts

Monday, 8 August 2016

Stuff

Most of yesterday was spent clearing out my bedroom for the decorator who arrived this morning at an ungodly hour. The room is going to be transformed by the pretty pale blue-grey colour I have chosen, having bought far too many sample pots of various shades of blue - everything from barely there to the darkest possible Georgian blue which I love in magazines but am not quite brave enough to use.  

And this is the problem.  So much choice, so many sample pots.  Why?  I knew after the third colour I tried out that my search was over; this colour was perfect.  What to do now with all the other little pots? Projects I suppose.  Repaint the kitchen chairs and small items of furniture or paint plant pots, perhaps.  A pity not to use them but more jobs to add to the endless and ever growing to-do list.  


But the stuff that came out of my bedroom! Especially out of my wardrobe.  Where did it all come from? How did it get there and why did I want/need it?  So many pairs of shoes?  So many scarves? And the earrings, necklaces, handbags and clutch bags, jackets, dresses ...  all no doubt bought for a reason at some point.  The clothes I needed for a job I no longer have, special occasion clothes for a party or wedding, too nice to let go but probably not to be worn again, unless I take to going to the village shop or walking the dogs in them! Not entirely practical. 





The spare bedroom now looks like a branch of an Oxfam shop.  In my head I would love to be someone who buys only one or two carefully chosen pieces but this has never happened and probably never will. Instead, I am a magpie!  




The sooner it all disappears back into the various nooks and crannies of my bedroom, the better.  I shall no doubt do a bit of desultory pruning, a few books to the charity shop, a few pairs of the high heeled shoes I can no longer wear put on ebay, perhaps, and a big note to self. For goodness sake, stop buying scarves!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Wedding Dresses and the Liberty Connection

Reading Lucille's post about the recent Liberty in Fashion Exhibition in London set me thinking about weddings and wedding dresses. Although I never wanted a big white wedding, the dress was important to me and I had firm ideas about what I was looking for.

I still have the dress I bought for my first wedding, a small, intimate ceremony at a London Registry Office nearly 35 years ago, and which I found in Stitches & Daughters in Blackheath Village where I was living at the time.  

It was around the time of Prince Charles' wedding to Diana Spencer, and Stitches & Daughters had commissioned a one-off commemorative wedding dress made from Liberty silk which caught my eye.  I can vividly remember seeing it displayed in their shop window and falling in love with it. Beautifully made and designed by an architect, it fitted perfectly and I bought it on the spot!  I loved wearing it on this special day.  

We held the reception in the garden of the Victorian coach house we were renovating at the time and most of the photos were taken in the dappled shade of the old Mulberry tree, heavy with its dark, staining fruit, imprinted still on the hem.  Looking at it now, I am instantly transported back to that day.  It carries the memories in the folds of its fabric. I see a young woman full of hopes and dreams on the cusp of marriage and motherhood, knowing nothing of what would unfold and almost a stranger to me now.  Some of the guests at my first wedding are still in my life in some way, some have vanished into the ether, and my new husband, my children's father and the man I believed would always share the journey, shockingly no longer plays any part in my life.


My second wedding dress was harder to find and took many months of searching in the shops and online for something suitable for a rather more mature woman with three adult sons, but also special enough for the church wedding we planned to have in our Suffolk village.  

I knew exactly what I wanted this time but it remained elusive, a simple ivory shift dress shouldn't be so hard to find!  As soon as I saw it though I knew this was the one and immediately put in my order.  The dress was duly delivered to my local Waitrose store and prosaically I loaded it into my shopping trolley along with my weekly shop, the fruit and vegetables, the milk and bread and washing-up liquid. I rather like that. 

Luckily it was perfect and my new husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our day celebrating with our seven grown-up children, their partners and our little granddaughter.  A very different occasion and much further down the path of our lives, older and hopefully wiser, but still with no idea of what life holds in store for us in the coming years, what joys and sorrows we will experience.  Weddings are about dreams, marriages are about reality.

What sort of wedding dress did you choose, do you still have it and what does it mean to you now? 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Wedding Bells


It was a very special day and despite still feeling drained by the wretched flu which is still pulling me down, I put on my best smile and dug deep.  Wild horses would not have kept me away from my son's wedding.  Of course there was a hat involved!  Someone had to do it, and who better than the Mother of the Groom, smart for once in black and ivory.

The Winter Garden at the smart London hotel was the perfect venue for afternoon tea with the bride's parents, the first opportunity we had had to meet them, before the beautiful, simple ceremony at the nearby Registry Office.  The Groom was suitably nervous and elated and the Bride, when she finally appeared, was beautiful and radiant as only a bride can be on her wedding day.

Afterwards the newly weds, family and friends piled onto the specially commissioned red London Route Master bus, to be greeted with glasses of champagne as the party began and we set off across central London laughing and chatting as the tension was released, children waving to us as we stopped at traffic lights - for once part of the sights of London!

The Thames-side pub/restaurant with its stunning view of the river was warm and welcoming after the short walk from the bus in the still freezing-cold late March wind.  The food was delicious, the atmosphere relaxed and informal and the party took off.  Meeting so many of my son's friends and having all three of my children, as well as my new daughter-in-law, together in the same room was a special joy, and it was a great pleasure also to welcome three of my step-children, who joined us after the dinner and speeches, the first time they had met my son's new wife; we are a combined family that is still evolving and growing.

As the evening progressed, fancy dress clothes and wigs were produced from somewhere, adding to the fun.  Of course, there were cupcakes and very delicious they looked too, I thought, choosing one and putting it down on the table for a few minutes while chatting to someone, only to find, when I came to look for it, that my ex-husband was sitting in my place scoffing it.  It was My Cup Cake! There was something rather predictable about that, I thought.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Things that make me Happy

I don't want to wish time away, but I'm glad to be saying goodbye to January, always a difficult month in the aftermath of Christmas, with its short gloomy days and long freezing nights, the worst of the weather and the horrible bugs.  February at least promises brighter, longer days, the return of birdsong and new growth pushing through in the garden.  Bringing hope.

I have just visited the Three Beautiful Things blog for inspiration, and it set me thinking about what has made me feel happy today.

Putting on a pretty, warm, knitted dress, smart woollen jacket, winter white scarf and black leather knee boots today to go into the beautiful Suffolk riverside town of Woodbridge and do some shopping, instead of my usual jeans, jumper and fleece.


Buying two new books at the Browser's Bookshop, an independent shop with interesting and thoughtful stock beautifully laid out, where I could spend far too much money.  Today I bought Tea Obreht's "The Tiger's Wife" which struck me as both unusual and well-written and Helen Castor's "She-Wolves" about influential Medieval Queens, a subject which has fascinated me ever since I picked up an Alison Weir book detailing the life of Katherine Swynford, a commoner, mistress, then later third wife of the 14th century prince John of Gaunt and the ancestress of our royal family. Medieval history has become something of a passion and I am absolutely riveted to the Richard III saga.


Stroking the silky-soft velvety fur of Asha's ears.  I love to stroke her ears and she can happily put up with it for hours! Soothing for both of us.


Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Temptation

Oh my god, it's stunning!  Who is that woman in the mirror? The one with the great legs and the fabulous figure that goes in and out in all the right places.  How can a dress do that?  It was the perfect summer shift dress, the one I've had half an eye out for all summer and here it was in the sale in the local posh frock shop.  It just sort of slipped itself on and fitted like a dream. 


I had come into the nearby small market town for a quick trip to the dentist to fix my loose crown before the wedding in Kent.  I didn't really need a new dress at all, but then who ever does?  There are plenty of previous years' lapses in the wardrobe which would more than cover the occasion, but there's something about a new dress teamed with three inch heels and a pashmina...

So, just a quick trip next door to make an appointment with the spray tan lady - those white legs could certainly do with some help - then back home to do unexpected things to myself, like depilate, exfoliate and moisturise all over, most of which I have managed to get through life quite happily without until now, but apparently crucial to giving the tan a chance to take.  You certainly need time and money in bucket loads to be beautiful, or even in with a chance, I realised.

My partner did a double-take when I walked into the room,  looking for once like the woman we would both like me to be.  Sadly this will not happen very often, as the credit card bill will soon land on the doorstep and the consequences will have to be faced. 

Still, I enjoyed pulling out all the stops for once... and I thoroughly enjoyed my friend's wedding  Sometimes you just have to go for it.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Little white, lacy, strappy things

My sons are home! The washing machine and dishwasher rumble incessantly, there is never enough milk, bread, cereal or red wine, casseroles bubble on the stove and the mother in me stirs and purrs contentedly, testosterone drifting through the house as their deep voices mingle and merge.

So why, I wonder, did I take a detour on my way to stock up again at Waitrose, to trawl through the racks of sale price clothes in Fat Face, discarding the sensible sweat shirts and fleecy, warm zippy things and finding my way to the little white, lacy, strappy vest top, to be secreted amongst the carrots and potatoes and meat and cheese? Perhaps my mind had drifted towards the Man in the Pink Shirt, currently battling the wind and tides somewhere off the South Coast, no doubt swathed in utilitarian waterproofs?

I suppose I could always hide it under a sensible fleece if I go sailing again. Only I would know it was there, surely. After all, if he had wanted a sensible woman, what on earth is he doing with me?

Friday, 1 June 2007

The Curse of the Pink Bag

I've just realised, I've done it again.

I went out in my lunch break a couple of weeks ago and, browsing around one of the lovely local accessories shops which thrive in this prosperous small town, I spotted an outrageous hot pink handbag, perfect for summer, I thought, and particularly perfect for Speech Day, a very smart affair held in the local church, with drinks afterwards on the lawn, followed by a barbecue lunch

I had my outfit planned weeks in advance; a black wrap dress with a cream pattern traced delicately over it, a boxy black linen jacket, black high heeled shoes and pale pink jewellery. The bag would certainly finish things off with a flourish. We single mums have to keep our ends up in coupledom.

I'm sorry to say that I didn't go. I found out a couple of days before that my son's year, being on study leave, were not expected to attend. I suppose I could have gone on my own, but that seemed a bit sad. And I had had an exhausting few weeks and was at a pretty low ebb.

Still, I'm sure it will come in useful for something else. The drinks party I'm going to on Sunday, perhaps? I really must stop buying pink bags. The buying of one seems to spell social disaster for me.

Friday, 30 March 2007

Not visiting Lille

The train to Lille is leaving now. And I am not on it. 

A tiny, insubstantial part of me leapt out of bed at 7 o'clock this morning, washed, dressed, breakfasted and left the house. My long, dark hair is clean and shining, my lips are Afghan Red and I smell deliciously of my new Annick Goutal scent, the one my mother gave me for my recent birthday. I am wearing my dark Gap boot-cut jeans, which make my legs look long and slender, a dusky-turquoise, long-sleeved jersey top, slightly low-cut, with gathered sleeves. Very pretty. And black suede ankle boots. Blue glass dangly ear-rings and a blue, turquoise and metal chain necklace complete the look. At the door, I put on my black jacket and pick up the dark pink weekend bag.

I had planned exactly how I wanted it to be. I had such a strong image of myself doing this. Sitting outside cafes with my book (Suite Francaise, I thought) watching the world go by, drinking coffee, eating a delicious lunch. Then wandering around the old town, dipping into shops, buying gorgeous dark chocolates for my family and friends, spending the night in a hotel room overlooking the Grand Place. Tomorrow, the Art Gallery perhaps, then more browsing, wandering, eating and drinking before catching the evening train back to London, then home.