Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Pink Dahlias & Heidi Roses

It's been a busy old time.
Bank Holiday Monday was spent working on the farm which if course meant posing for photots for me and tending to the animals for my husband.
We took Frankie and he loved having a sniff around.

I settled on the Dahlia patch for my photo and coudn't resist plucking one for a buttonhole for the day and its now in a bud vase I got from the charity shop for £1.

When I am not posing for photos of crocheting granny squares I have been reading this latest book from Ed Balls.

I am enjoying the read but I wish there were more nostalgic photos from the 70s and 80s.

And whenever I can I have been enjoying vists with this little one.

Heidi Rose my gorgeous grandaughter is now two months old and getting smilier by the day.

So It's farewell to August and summer and hello to autumn.

See you on the other side.

Jane x

I wore:

Shoes - Stan Smiths

Skirt H & M

Tshirt - Reiss

Jacket - Asos

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Second Hand Stories


Today is the first day of an exciting new collaboration with Australian blogger, Sarah London, the mindful stylist. I met Sarah through Instagram and I have followed her posts for a while.

A few weeks ago I was delighted when she agreed to be interviewed for my 7 Secrets of my Style series on Instagram and even more delighted when she asked if I would like to share a monthly blog posts - writing a post on the same topic. And here we are.

Our first topic is the sroty behind our love of shopping second-hand.

For me shopping second-hand is very much like my yoga journey. I went into it expecting one thing and ended up with something very different. Bear with me. 

I started practising yoga in 1991 when I was six months pregnant with my eldest son and the gym owner had a quiet word to say I needed to adjust my current weight training regime. He was right but I didn't like the idea of doing no exercise. He suggested yoga.

I couldn't find any yoga classes for my area in those days but instead taught myself a pregnancy routine from a book. I was resistant at first but soon found the physical shapes fed by desire to move by body. At first it was a means to an end when I couldn't get to the gym. Four babies later I was still practising yoga and pleased with myself when I achieved a challenging new poses like Hanumanasana (the splits) or a headstand. It fed my need to push myself physically.

But then something happened. I realised the physical side was no longer that important. What I enjoyed about my yoga practice was the sense of peace and calm that I was able to carry into my everyday life. I had finally got the essence of yoga.

A similar thing happened with second-hand shopping. At first it was a means to an end when I was a student and had little money but a big passion for clothes. I could buy a whole outfit for not much money. Over the years as more money became available to feed  my fashion habit I strayed into fast fashion but somethign didn't feel right. I became more aware of the dire conditions of fast fashion workers, the impact on the environment and the cost to the planet. In 2008/2009 I did a year of buying no new clothes documented in my blog WorkthatWardrobe and I rediscovered the joys of secondhand shopping.

And then something happened. I realised something new to me was just as exciting as boxfresh clothes. What I loved about second-hand shopping was I could  get the same buzz without harming the planet. I still have a lot to learn as the book, Loved Clothes Last is telling me but I feel I am now finally getting the true essence of sustainable shopping.

It must have rubbed off as two of my sons run a successful second-hand designer clothing brand, Luxe Collective.

I still have a long way to go but I hope you join me on my journey to becoming a more sustainable shopper.

Have a great day.

Today I wore:

Shoes - Karen Millen via ebay

Skirt - Top Shop via Vinted

Jacket M&S via Oxfam

Top - Superdry via Oxfam

Bag - Mulberry via Luxe Collective

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Unto This Last


I last stood at this spot in John Ruskin's house in 1981.
I was 15 and on a camping trip with my school's Writers' Club.
We had visited many literary sites that didn't really connect with a 15-year-old schoolgirl from Manchester.
But John Ruskin's house was a place where I felt inspired.
I stood at that spot and decided I would become a writer.
The following year I won a short story competition run by Salford City Council and went on to study Ruskin at university during my English Literature (Literature of Ideas) degree.

10 years later I was employed as a journalist at The Liverpool Echo where I met a very good friend, Peter Grant who had studied at Ruskin College in Oxford.
Ruskin was born and lived in London and later, Oxford but moved to Brantwood by Coniston Water in 1871.

During his life he had been an artist, painter, writer, poet, political theorist and social reformer.
He took on Brantwood when it was a wreck and rebuilt the home and gardens.
He lived there until his death in 1900.

Unto This Last is a series of political essays which warns of the dangers of industrialization on nature.

Ruskin often enjoyed boating trips on the lake from here.

The gardens are amazing with a variety of areas which have been developed since Ruskin's death using his ideas.

I loved the ferns in The Professor's Garden.

If you ever get the chance to visit it is such an inspiring place and I am sure the spirit of the man lives on in the fabric of the building.

I wore:

Sandals: Birkenstock

Skort: Trespass

Top: Next

Glasses: Prada

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