Monday, 30 November 2020

Dress Up Sunday


 Sunday is my day to dress up.

I don't go anywhere except the supermarket but after a week spent crawling around on mats on floors teaching yoga and dressed in leggings it is a welcome change.

Today's dress is another Karen Millen but on eBay which is where I am getting most of my new clothes at the moment thanks to lockdown and the closure of  the charity shops.

The length and the fit couldn't have been more perfect for me and the handy ties at the waist means that the fit is adjustable. 

I also love the long sleeves at this time of the year.

And even though I wasn't going out there was an air of celebration to this particular Sunday.



After reading the Sunday papers and the new Waitrose magazine we had a little visitor.



My daughter and her fiance had taken Bud for a walk and then dropped him off for some cuddles before they collected him.



And then Frankie arrived.




And these are the proud parents, my sons, Joe and Ben.



My mum who is in our bubble came round for a roast and had a little cuddle with the pup named after my dad.

So definitely a day worth dressing up for.




I wore:
Boots - Next
Dress - Karen Millen from eBay


Sunday, 29 November 2020

In The Pink

I woke on Saturday morning to dark skies and a little drizzle running down the bedroom window. Even on Saturday, I wake early and this morning was before 7am. 
Once I am awake that is it.
 I can't get back to sleep. 
I can't lie in bed like my husband who would happily stay snuggled in bed until late morning. 
The weekend concession we have is that I make tea and bring it back to bed with a book.
I ventured downstairs for tea and toast and my book - Blue Monday by Nicci French.
Today it is more like a Grey Saturday.
Especially with my husband listening to the mournful music that it Bruce Springsteen's latest album.
I had no idea what I was going to wear today until Paul said we needed to get to the farm early.
The farm is where my husband works with adults who have a range of learning disabilities.
He remembered that after his last drop-off the previous evening he had parked the minibus outside the entrance which would need to be clear as it was the first day of the big Christmas tree sale.
That was the inspiration I needed.
I love the farm, especially the pigs so pink it was.
I never knew how much I loved pigs until Paul started work at the farm last winter.
Pebbles is my favourite but this morning three of the four pigs were snuggled in their huts and it was only April who ventured out for some water.
Every year the farm sells 600 Christmas Trees and the scent is divine.
I even managed to dig out the hat I knitted last year.
After letting the animals out for the day and topping up their water we left just as the staff arrived who will be selling the trees. It is such a great way to start the day and I certainly feel in the pink after time on the farm.
After a quick weekend treat trip to Waitrose we returned home and spent the rest of the day tidying and cleaning ready for our new arrival tomorrow.
And then it was dark again.
And a good excuse to snuggle up on the sofa with bread, wine and cheese and watch the final episodes of The Queen's Gambit.
My dad was a big chess fam and taught my brother and I to play at an early age way back in the 1970s.
I mastered the basic moves but soon got bored and didn't have the kind of  strategic brain you need to be any good. 
Unlike my brother who became quite a good chess player.
Interestingly, my career has always had a creativity angle whereas he is a numbers man and works in an investment bank in London.
Dad died 10 years ago but I know he would have loved the series which is set in the 1950s and 1960s.
But by the end of the evening we watched the last episode and now I am bereft.
I loved the music, the fashion, the cinematography and of course the chess.
But not time to wallow as tomorrow we start a new chapter when Frankie, the pup named after my dad arrives.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,
Jane X

I wore:
Wellie - Hunter
Face mask - local chemist
Leggings - Dorothy Perkins
Shirt - Top Shop from charity shop
Top - Tesco
Hat - knitted by me
Coat - Regatta.



Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Petrichor


When I got dressed today I was drawn to the colour orange.
It is a colour that always cheers me up on grey days like this one.
It also made me think about an outfit I wore over 7 years ago when I visited Cambridge University and stayed at Magdalene College for two nights during a teaching conference.
It was a magical experience of a parallel universe.

Here I am in my orange jeans with King's College in the background.

It was during that stay which I blogged about here that I discovered one of my favourite words, Petrichor.

It is the word that describes the scent the earth gives off when it rains after a lengthy dry period.

It is so specific and so evocative. 

It is one of the reasons I love to run in the summer rain.

I discovered the word in The Bellwether Revivals, by Benjamin Wood, a novel I bought from a Cambridge bookshop during my stay.



The novel begins with a character seduced by the sound of singing from King's College and follows the fortunes of a group of young people in the university town.

When I returned home I discovered that the author was once a student at the sixth form college where I was working as a tutor.

Out of interest I googled petrichor and discovered that you can buy candles and oils with the scent of petrichor!

The word also inspired this great piece of music from Ludovico Einaudi.

I don't think I will be smelling the scent of petrichor for a while as the temperature here has dropped but at least I can put a candle on my Christmas list.





I wore:

Boots - M & S

Leggings - Dorothy Perkins

Top - French Connection

Cardigan - Karen Millen (from eBay)




 

Monday, 23 November 2020

Saudade

 

Despite the title of the post which I will come to later, it has been a beautiful day.




I started with my daily hour long walk from my house to the beach via the woods and back.




There is so much to see and the landscape changes on a daily basis.



The light was so lovely this morning before the rain came and I only saw a handful of people on my walk.



I watched this little fella enjoying some berries for breakfast.


And a different route back on the path where you can catch a glimpse of the high school where my four children went just a stone's throw from the dunes.

After I got back I completed all my class plans and admin for the week before my 15 minute Joe Wicks workout, a shower and my treat - writing my NaNoWriMo novel.
I was looking for a word to describe that mixed feeling of sadness and happiness for a time that is lost forever.
It wasn't nostalgia, it was something more visceral I was looking for and then I came across this amazing word Saudade. 
I ended up down a rabbit hole of culture and music and literature of Portugal where the word originates and discovered there is even a Saudade Day in Brazil on January 30th.
Isn't that cool?


My look today appears to be inspired by the praries.
I can't resist a bit of gingham and as all my walking and exercising is done for the day I could wear some heeled boots for a change.
I think I have finally figured out why our American friends call vests tanks now as I needed an extra layer and used by vest top as a tank top.

Finally, everything is coming together.
Is there a word for that?




I wore:
Boots - Next
Dress - Monki
Tank/Vest - New Look


Sunday, 22 November 2020

The Girl In The Polka Dot Dress

 



I have always been partial to a polka dot dress and when I saw this one on eBay, I had to bid for it. 
Just my size including being petite too which is perfect when you are 5ft 1in. 
I bid and won for £2.99 and the label was still on too.


I think serendipity was at play this weekend too.
My Saturday and Sunday morning treat is to take a cup of tea back to bed and read, sometimes for two hours.
Before lockdown I had bought a stack of books from the local charity shops including one by the author of The Girl In The Polka Dot Dress - Beryl Bainbridge.
Although sadly, that book was not on the shelves, instead I got this one which is set in Liverpool in the 1950s.



Beryl Bainbridge grew up in Formby,  the town where I have lived for the past 32 years, and she was expelled from Merchant Taylor's School in Crosby where my husband's twin sister attended too , although some years later.
I am taking this book slowly as the prose is so carefully crafted I don't want to miss a detail.
After my Saturday morning read we went for a long walk and then spent the evening watching The Queen's Gambit which is also set in the 1950s.



On Sunday I continued with the book, Bainbridge is such a fabulous writer I will definitely have to read more of her work. 
I don't know why I have waited so long.

Then it was two hours of cleaning to pay for my reading in bed and then prepping my slow cooker Vegetarian Cassoulet dish which was inspired by a Michael Barry recipe circa 1992.


Tonight my husband and the boys will be watching Liverpool FC play on the TV and I will be catching up with some blog comments I have just found.




And I will also be continuing with my NaNoWriMo novel.

I like to do this each year but when you read such sublime writing as the work of Beryl Bainbridge I realize how far I have to go.




Today I wore:
Boots: Marks and Spencer
Dress; Wallis on Ebay
Coat: Tesco






Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Zoom Bloomers

 

Before I taught yoga full time I used to think how easy it would be to wear my yoga gear all day.

It is easy.

But it's very boring.

And at this time of the year it can be too hot or too cold.

And of course, it's that age thing too!

So I am exploring layers and wanted an extra layer while I did my planning and before I dashed off to this school to teach four classes of 30 children.


I can't take the credit for this idea.
I wanted a sleeveless jacket from a scarf and found this tutorial which was easy and brightened up this outfit.

Later, when I got home and changed, it was time to explore creating backgrounds on zoom for my Yin Yoga class tomorrow.
The theme is autumn and I thought I would try this photo.



It looked great when I was still.


But when I moved!!!


Not so good.

Ah well, back to the drawing board.


I wore:


Boots: Next

Leggings: Sweaty Betty

Top: French Connection

Scarf: Zara

Monday, 16 November 2020

Woodland Inspiration


After this inspiring walk around my local woods I had decided it was time to wear my autumn dress again.
 



I love the yellows and greens that are still around but it reminded me that I had some gardening to do.



After tidying up the pots and planting more bulbs I came inside for some cuddles with my daughter's dog who is staying with us this weekend.


Saturday night was spent watching the final two episodes of DNA on BBC 4 - what a  great thriller travelling around Denmark, Poland and Paris. The ending was just right too.




As Bud was going back today I needed something snuggly and this vest and cardigan from New Look is super warm and lovely to touch.
After a family roast we retired to the sitting room to binge watch three episodes of The Crown. I'm not sure I am enjoying it as much as the last three seasons but I will stick with it.
Monday will be spent planning for the rest of the week and cleaning and tidying which I find very therapeutic.

I'm over halfway through my NaNoWriMo novel or should I say ramblings which is pleasing as I found it a struggle last week but I won't give up.
Have a good week.

Jane




 

Saturday, 14 November 2020

That Was The Week That Was

 Well What A Week!


It started off a little cool and I decided to wear my new to me Karen Millen jumper from eBay that warmed me up a bit with its autumnal hues.


The colours reminded me of me new favourite coffee label and also inspired me to make  a hearty slowcooker Indian curry.




Having a meal ready was pretty handy for when I finished teaching my Zoom Yoga class. and was starving. It was so lovely seeing everyone including one of my 70 year old students who is back on her mat after a three week battle with Covid 19.


It isn't the most flattering image - not that I minded too much as tonight I heard the great news - we are getting a puppy. 

Actually the two sons who live with us are getting a new puppy so we will have all the cuddles and chaos without the cost. 
Perfect!
Here he is.



Meet Frankie.

I ended the week completing my MA application which took me much longer than I expected. So fingers crossed!



And now to get ready for the weekend - whatever that brings.

Have a good one everyone.

I wore:
Leggings - Sweaty Betty
Shirt - French Connection
Sweater - Karen Millen
Shoes - Nike



Breton Bull Dog

  Its spring on the farm and time to break out the Breton Top. Fresh and clean but with long sleeves to keep out the chill wind that blows a...