Sunday, 9 October 2016

A Failure in Purple

It's been a few weeks, so much for this getting back into blogging lark!

Having said that I haven't been up to much, work, a bit of gardening before the weather changed, that's about it.
Now we are a bit more settled and I am a bit less stressed I have felt the urge to buy clothes creep upon me, I knew it wouldn't be long. I'm yearning for Autumnal shades, checks and tartans and in particular last week it was a purple dress.  

I thought I'd found two perfect ones. The first in H&M where I had gone to buy a new jumper. It was this delicious deep jewel like shade with long sleeves that ended in a wide cuff with little buttons, it looked perfect. I didn't have time to try it on but who cares it was perfect right? I bought it and tried it on at home the next morning. All I can say is it never ceases to amaze me how things can look so very, very different on a person to the way they do on a hanger. I returned it that same day. *sigh*

Then I found a Hell Bunny one on Ebay, floral print on a dark lilac background and only £20. I'd just sold some stuff so used that money to buy it.
Turns out the colour on the picture was not true and the dress is actually battle ship grey. Bah. Grey is a colour I absolutely cannot wear, it drains every vestige of colour from my face and makes me look sallow. *double sigh*

I did better with this 99p bargain. It is check print though to be fair more summery shades than the autumnal I'm craving. For 99p though what's not to like?
It arrived on Friday and is actually quite a heavyweight fabric so at least I get to wear one new frock!

Soo came over yesterday for a catch up, so we hit the charity shops as you do. We both did pretty well bearing in mind neither of us was actually looking to buy anything!
We both bought a little glass jug for a pound.
Mine very Art Deco with little feet!

We both bought a cord jacket, even though neither of us needs any more jackets (I literally have a cupboard full!)
Brand New Per Una Jacket for  £8 = Bargain.

Himself and I need to take a picture of ourselves in our very Howard and Hilda matchy matchy brown corduroy jackets now heh heh.

My first purchase of the day was a little carpet bag in just the seasonal type of colour I've been craving. I dithered because I really don't need any new bags either but when I asked the price and was told it was a pound well....
The deed was done.

My only other recent purchase was a necklace from Cherryloco's Halloween range
Who could resist Octo-puss??

Certainly not me that is for sure.

Himself and I have taken a couple of trips to the cinema. As I may have mentioned I was super excited to go and see The Magnificent Seven
It did not disappoint. I bloody loved it! I was aware I was grinning like a loon a couple of times, thank goodness cinemas are dark.

We also went to see Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
which I also enjoyed though I have to say the rating surprised me. There were some very jumpy bits and I would have been having serious nightmares at some of the monsters if I would have seen it as a little kid!

Right I'm off to feed the birds, I'm currently being eaten out of house and home by a flock of goldfinches
This is the equivalent of a birdy protest.The feeders are empty so they have been forced to land on the ground and forage for scraps, oh the indignity.


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

One Brooch or Two?

So I finally got around to spending my birthday money, and maybe just a touch more. I didn’t feel much like shopping at the time and then when I took it with me to the bank holiday craft fair I didn’t see anything I really wanted to get.
Last week though I was prompted by reading someone else's blog(sorry I don’t remember who exactly) to take a look at the new Erstwilder brooch collection because it’s been a while, and they were wearing a lovely example of said collection.

Turns out that one of their approved U.K suppliers lives in the next village to me and actually has a cabinet in the little vintage shop in my home town!
I found this out when I placed my first order with her a while back and she very kindly told me not to pay the postage, she would drop them off there for me to pick up. Since then she suggested I should just email her with my purchase choice and she would leave it for me to collect.

Well when I saw there was a Mr Magpie in the new collection it was a done deal. Actually there were  a few I liked, I would love to have gone mad but as I can’t afford it I restrained myself to just Mr Magpie I swung by on Saturday morning to pick him up and here he is.

I also stepped into the half a dozen chazzas that I passed on my way there because, well, it’s been a while since I’ve done that too, and if nothing else one of them had an ‘Everything a Pound!’ sign in the window!
What more encouragement does a woman need? I bought a book and a dress, which as it goes I’m actually wearing right now as I type, and it’s accessorized with another of my birthday brooches. 

Talking of Charity shops it’s been quite funny because where we had been madly clearing out and donating a million bags to charity we had the unique experience one day recently of walking down to Sainsbury’s to buy some food and spotting something that we had donated in the window of every single charity shop we passed! As a colleague pointed out, we clearly donate a quality item.       

So my other two brooch purchases (one of which I'm wearing today) have come from that amazing Etsy store Luxulite. I have been admiring these brooches on various other blogs and favoriting particular ones in the shop for ages now. 
I finally decided I would buy one, but me being me, I ended up buying two.
I decided to go for the more restrained classic red cherry style but the drag queen in me just had to have a bit of sparkle so I went for the blue glitter instead of wood effect! 

Whilst browsing I spotted the Halloween themed brooches and dithered for a bit but just had to go for one of them so decided on the pumpkins, because I love pumpkins and so does my favourite Snoopy character Linus!

There was a bit of drama before these beauties landed in my grasping mitts, in which I have to say Etsy did not show themselves in the best light, a real disappointment to me if I’m honest. 

I had logged into my account and deactivated my old address, added the new address and ticked the box to make it my main default address. I naively thought that was enough to update my details, but apparently not! I only realised the order had actually gone to my old address when I got the email through to say it had been dispatched.
I contacted Etsy to find out why, and basically, they very unhelpfully said “It’s your own fault for not checking the address before you hit purchase, were you not aware you could see the address before you purchased an item? oh and if you haven’t already maybe you should also delete your old address from your account”

So I replied 

“As it goes no I wasn’t aware of the address at purchase thing, but I am now and will do so going forward but that doesn’t really help in my current situation, can you explain why the deactivation of the old address didn’t work?”

They never even responded to that email, so thanks Etsy, thanks a lot. Luckily I had set up a mail divert on my old address just in case, and after a bit of a delay we were able to pick up the package yesterday.

The final brooch on the block was from the lovely Vix. She had featured it on a blog post a  little while back and as I loved it at first sight I emailed her to say if it didn't sell that weekend could I buy it? 
But Vix being the amazing person she is just said it was mine and posted it to me. In fact it was my first parcel at the new house.
Not only that it had some elephants in it as well. she is the best.  

What else have I been up to? 
Well I went to see Kubo at the cinema, I wasn’t sure at first but once it got going I LOVED it. It’s funny, it’s moving, even my stony heart filled and a tear welled in my eye. 

We had a Well Being Day at work after they did a survey about how happy people were in there jobs and had shocking bad results. 
I signed up and got a 15 minute shoulder massage, attended a taster course on turning negativity into positivity where I got a free stretchy man stress toy and an assessment from a local osteopath with the option of a special offer follow up full assessment for a tenner. I think the whole department signed up for that one! They had a fancy schmacy gadget that you stood on and it took all your measurements and then told you how out of alignment you were. As it goes I was favouring one leg slightly more than the other and my hip and shoulder were askew. 
This did not surprise me because it’s been 3 years since I last did the Alexander Technique regularly and despite the Pilates my back had been complaining on and off again for a while.

I was quite despondent after my £10 session because I had thought 20 odd years of Alexander Technique had cured a serious issue I had had with my hip, but there it was apparently tipped up again on that same side, on top of a couple of other issues.

Thankfully after going again for a painfully expensive full priced session and talking with my Pilates teacher it’s not actually the same hip problem I had before but instead an issue with my right ankle. My ankles have always been a problem to but now the right one has grown so tight and inflexible I’m walking wrong. 
This made one of my toe bones collapse which is why not only have I been having the really bad pain in my foot (that I have been studiously ignoring for a while now!) but has also made my hip move out of alignment. 
Once explained I had visions of being presented with a long and expensive treatment plan, (which I can’t afford) as that has happened in the past, but thankfully again, I proved wrong in that assumption too.
Providing I keep up with the daily exercises I have been given, apparently 6 sessions should sort it. I can’t even afford those if I’m honest, so I am doing the exercises religiously at least 3 times a day and hoping I can spread out the sessions from once a week to more like one a month or at least something more affordable.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

40 Random Beauty Questions.

I'm not a huge fan of tagged posts if I'm honest, but every now and then one comes along that I actively enjoy answering.

I am most definitely a huge fan of make-up though, I have a drawer full of it and enjoy spending many a happy lunch hour browsing the make-up aisle in Boots and Superdrug.
I'm not brand loyal and I don't like to spend a fortune. I do try out different things, but after 30 plus years of wearing it I have come to know what suit me and what doesn't.

So without further ado here are my answers to the beauty tag that is going around, I have absolutely no intention of tagging anyone else but would love to see some other people's recommendations. I'm always up for trying new products.

1. How many times do you wash your face daily?
I only wash my face when I shower, so every other day. Whilst the rest of me gets washed the face stays dry and gets cleansed.
2. What skin type do you have?
Dry as dry can be.
3. What is your current facial wash?
I don’t have one.
4. Do you exfoliate?
Yes about once a week.
5. What brand do you use?
St Ives Apricot scrub. None of those terrible environmentally disastrous microbeads to be found in this house!
6. What moisturizer do you use?
L’Oreal Collagen Wrinkle Decrease. I used to use Yves Rocher but am no longer comfortable with some of their practices so moved over to L’Oreal a few years ago and haven’t looked back. I think face cream is very subjective, not everyone is going to get on with the same cream and just because people and the press rave about it it may not be right for you, Boots No.7 Protect and Perfect I’m looking at you. A face cream that independent scientific study has proven to work, I tried it and my skin HATED it. 
Skin care is something I’m prepared to spend money on but luckily for me my skin just loves L’Oreal.

7. Do you have freckles?
A vague smattering, these days it’s more likely to be age spots!
8. Do you use eye cream?
Yes, Boots No.7 Lift and Luminate is good but at the moment I’m using a matching L’Oreal collagen one.
9.Do you, or did you previously have, acne prone skin?
Thankfully not acne though I did get my fair share of spots as a teen and indeed still do get the odd one dammit.
10. Have you ever needed to use Pro-activ?
I have no idea what that even is.
11. What foundation do you use?
Now I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I am a right tart when it comes to make-up, you name the brand if it’s new or on offer I’m up for it!

However my foundation brand is one of the two I have stayed completely loyal too, I use Max Factor. (the other being Corn Silk loose powder) I have tried others, cheaper and top end, but I have gone back to Max Factor because it gives the coverage I like and their palest shade suits my skin tone.
As I’ve aged I have moved from Pan Stick, to Lasting Performance, to Colour Adapt and am currently loving Ageless Elixir in Porcelain.

12. How about concealer?
I’m currently using Rimmel Match Perfection because now I’m getting old I find I get better coverage from a liquid rather than a stick.

13. Do you know your skin's colour tone?
Not really, but I know it has pinky tones, this despite the fact that make up free my skin tone is probably closest to 'Corpse Risen'.
14. What do you think of fake eyelashes?
I love them but have never mastered the art of gluing them on.
15. Did you know that you are suppose to change your mascara every 3 months?
3 months? when did it become 3 months?? I thought it was 6 months?

I tend to use them until they either 
a. dry up
b. run out 
c. start to smell funny.
16. What brand of mascara do you use?
I have two on the go right now. An Estee Lauder one I got on a special offer when I bought my sister in law some of their products for her birthday and Boots Seventeen Long Lash.
Now long time readers of my blog may have followed with interest/despair/boredom my long quest to find a new favourite mascara. 
As you may recall, I used to swear by Bourjois Coup de Theatre but to my eternal heartbreak they discontinued it. Only to add insult to injury by bringing out a product a few years later with the SAME NAME that bore not the slightest hint if similarity, let alone magical lengthening and thickening properties of it’s namesake. Frankly I was, and still am, disgusted by this disgraceful behaviour on the part of Bourjois.

The wonderous and much lamented *real* Coup de Theatre.

The new and frankly rubbish imposter!

17. MAC or Sephora?
Well as we don’t have Sephora in the U.K I guess it has to be MAC, though I have never shopped there....
18. What makeup tools do you use in make up application?
Only a blusher brush and eye shadow applicators, I do the rest with my fingers.
19. Do you think you look good even when you’re not wearing makeup?
20. Do you use make-up base/primer for the eyes?
Nope, I use foundation.
21. For the face?
No, I moisturize about 10-15 minutes before I apply my make-up.
22. What is your favourite eyeshadow (color or shade)?
I like peachy shades, I do also use various shades of brown.
23. Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner?
Pencil all the way baby. Urban Decay 24/7 are by far the BEST eye liners ever, and I have tried many!
24. How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?
I genuinely cannot remember the last time I ever did that which means I most definitely will the next time I apply eye liner.....
25. What do you think of pigment eyeshadows?
They give strong colour but are too damn messy, I can’t be arsed with little wee pots of powder.
26. Do you use mineral makeup?
If it was on an offer then yes I would buy it and use it.
27. What is your favourite lipstick?
I don’t have one, I wear lipstick about once every 10 years.
28. How about lip gloss?
see above.
29. What is your favourite blush to use?
Boots No.7 in Soft Damson was my favourite shade but for some reason best known to themselves they discontinued it this year, I suspect it will come back very quickly as according to the lady on their make-up counter it was their top seller and everyone is having hysterics now it is gone. I’m currently using a Boots Seventeen one in peach.
30. Do you buy makeup on eBay?
I have once or twice for discontinued things but otherwise no.
31. Do you like drugstore makeup?
Hell yes, it makes up the complete contents of my make-up drawer. I don’t see the point in paying 3 times as much or more, for something that I can get cheaper and which is often a better product anyway.
32. Do you go to CCOs (Cosmetic company outlets)?
No, I don’t even know if there are any near here.
33. Have you ever considered taking make-up classes?
34. Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?
I’ve been wearing it for 35 years so I have a routine. It’s not flawless but it does.
35. Name a "makeup crime" that you hate?
The first one that springs to mind is the Scouse Brow, what the hell is that all about?? I looks absolutely hideous.

36. Do you like colourful shades of makeup (lipstick, eyeshadow, etc) or neutral ones?
I love both and wear both.
37. Which celebrity do you think always has great makeup? 
Dita Von Teese. Audrey Hepburn.
38. If you had to leave the house having used just ONE make up item, what would you pick?
Concealer. I have huge, and when I say huge I mean huge, black lines under my eyes.
39. Are you able to leave the house without any makeup on?
It has been known.
40. In your opinion, what is the BEST makeup line?
Don’t have one I’d much rather mix and match. 

Monday, 5 September 2016

Just Walking in the Rain.

I'm sitting here still feeling post holiday blues, it was only a long weekend away but after all that has gone on our annual trip to Bournemouth was well needed.
The weather did it's level best to ruin our stay but to be honest we love Bournemouth so much pouring rain, and something rather more than just 'bracing' sea air did nothing to dampen that love. To be fair we have had consistently fabulous weather in previous years so a soggy weekend was overdue.

We arrived and checking into our tiny and very blue guest house, I rush to add it was painted and decked out from top to toe in various shades of blue rather than being blue in an x-rated way!
The owner was also obsessed with old school Hollywood, especially Marilyn Monroe, so their were many objects ranging from the tasteful to the hideous car boot tat dotted everywhere too.
Our room was also tiny, probably better suited to being a single than a double in all honesty, with a rather striking white & turquoise blue and dedicated to Elizabeth Taylor!
We always like to head to the beach as soon as we can mooch about, eat chips looking at the sea as the sun goes down then toddle off somewhere for a drink or two. This trip was no different and at least the the rain held off so we could do just that and feel the weight of the world drop away.

We spent the next day initially battling down the seafront through the wind and the rain in the end we decided to wander up and down the chines which whilst wet were at least sheltered.
We stopped a couple of times for a restorative hot drink, especially when the rain got torrential. I got to try Dorset tea which I liked so much I went a bought a box!
Here's hoping it tastes as good at home......

We had a wander around Westbourne and I did all the charity shops, where there were very thin pickings, My theory is because there are such an abundance of vintage shops in the Bournemouth area I'm convinced they snaffle all the good stuff.
All I bought was a kitsch necklace for £2.
 We headed back to the beach and even found a rather soggy magpie to photograph. I can't say I've ever noticed one by the sea before.
 My converse are still wet now 3 days later!

Next day I met my friend Alison for our annual catch up. We went to the Bournemouth Vintage Emporium & Tea Rooms first
We had a lovely browse and a good gossip over a pot of super, strip the enamel off your teeth strength tea.
I was quite restrained and only bought this pretty brooch.
We had always planned to go for afternoon tea which was a good job as the heavens opened in biblical fashion as the afternoon went on. We had hoped to go to the Hotel Miramar but they had a big wedding on so we ended up at the nearby Cumberland Hotel.
The outside is gorgeous 30's Art Deco but sadly the interior is a modern interior designer's frankly over the top vision of Art Deco so personally a bit of a disappointment.

In the end I plumped for a Dorset cream tea rather than the full cream tea, sadly the scones were a little dry, crumbling to pieces as soon as you tried to spread anything on them which was frustrating. the tea was good though and we were were not at all rushed and the staff were friendly but a little overattentive. So sadly not the best.

I did a little clothes shopping. I had set some money aside for my holiday. I was looking for a couple of new checked shirts as a coup,e of my current ones are getting very faded. I did find two a black one and a green & blue one, I have a sneaking suspicion I will just keep wearing my old ones alongside the new ones rather than throwing them out. I also found a t-shirt with moons & stars on it and a cardigan with dragonflies.
My final purchase was a sheer black polka dot dress. It was reduced from £60 to £16 so I bought it, despite it looking like a shapeless sack!
Holiday over for another year *sigh*

Our holiday followed hot on the heels of the last summer bank holiday. Mum and I did our annual pilgrimage to the huge craft fair at Stonor Park. It rained this year too but we dodged the showers browsing the tents. I bought a couple of things. A lovely cranberry glass seahorse which I thought would look so pretty hanging in my kitchen window catching the sun
until I got it home and realised the kitchen window in this house doesn't have anywhere for it to actually hang *sigh*

I couldn't resist this rather mad cow creamer either
 It looks like it's gossiping in full flow.

Finally on Bank Holiday Monday we went to Oxford to see a new documentary that has just come out about Gary Numan, Android in La la Land, the screening was to be followed by a live Q&A with one of the directors.
Filmed in 2012 over the time he and his family were relocating to L.A and he was finalizing his first album in 6 years, it had taken 4 years to produce.
As a bit of a fan I was very excited to see it but worried Himself would be bored stupid as he is anything but a fan. As it goes we both really enjoyed it as it is an extremely well made and entertaining documentary.
Made by Steve Read and Rob Alexander after a chance meeting backstage at a festival, Steve freely admitted that though they obviously knew who he was, neither was a fan of Numan's music. I think this actually worked in the documentary's favour making it a much more balanced view of a genuinely humble, down to earth and fascinating person who just happens to make music and have been hugely famous at one time.
The thing that really made it was how open and relaxed Numan and his family were. He was extremely open about his Aspergers, and how difficult that can make things for him, and movingly so about the depression he has suffered.
He is clearly a devoted father and husband and the strong relationship between him and his wife was the bedrock of the film, as well as providing some real laugh out loud moments with their joshing and bickering.
I would say it's well worth seeing if you get the chance, whether you are a fan of the man or just a fan of a well made documentary.

Right I'm off to do the washing up and get ready for going back to work tomorrow. It's all non stop glamour around these parts.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Back in the Saddle.

Hello all, firstly I would like to say thank you for the lovely comments on my last post I really appreciated them.
So we are in the new house and I’m happy to report my Pollyanna mojo seems to be returning, hopefully no more downbeat blog posts, if nothing else I’ll have no readers left if I go on that way! (I hemorrhaged followers with my last post.)
As it goes the moving itself was not as bad as I thought it might be. The new house is just a couple of streets away from our old place so we did quite a few runs with cars loaded with boxes meaning it only took one day with a hired van for the bigger stuff. We had Nephew Number One (21) his girlfriend(19) and her brother(17) helping us so we did pretty well. They flagged a bit by lunch time but once we had all refueled on fish and chips were back too with gusto.
I did have to laugh at the fact that whilst they headed off out for a night on the town (fortified with the alcohol we bribed them with to help us move.) Himself and I just put our bed together and collapsed pathetically into it absolutely exhausted. Oh the energy of youth!

I’m happy to say, I’m not hating the new house quite as much as I was before we moved in and I’m not missing the old place anywhere near as much as I thought I would. I think discovering the old house had rising damp to add to all the other issues going on helps. Let’s just say moving furniture and discovering great patches of wet on the walls and mould round the bottom of most of your furniture is not going to endear you.

Himself managed to add to my stress levels mightily by leaving his packing until literally the night before, Saturday morning we were loading the van and he was still packing!?! Thankfully we did get it all done, Though I think the builder over the back regretted his offer to us to put 'some' rubbish in his skip when we pretty much filled it, ooopps.

First things to be unpacked were my clothes and handbags, but it was actually getting my books in order on the bookcases that made me feel more at home. Proving you can take the girl out of the library but not the librarian out of the girl.

We are still figuring out what is going to go where, and it’s still pretty mad and messy but we are getting there. The de-cluttering continues as well and long may it.
Strangely I found all my ornaments and those kinds of bits and pieces the hardest thing to be objective about, so I have decided not to unpack any of those boxes for at least 3 or 4 months. I’m hoping by then I will be able to sort and reject in a more logical and sensible fashion. Here’s hoping so anyway!!

The new house has a pretty big and frankly disastrously overgrown garden. Half of me is itching to crack on, but the sensible half is reigning me in. We are only there short term and as much building work is planned once we have gone (a new build and or extension) there really is no point to do more than tidy up a bit.
You can tell the old lady who was there before was a very keen gardener at one time. You can see where there would have been flowerbeds and a lawn, separated from a small orchard and a vegetable patch at the bottom. According to my Mum, who is one herself,  the lady also must have been a flower arranger as most of the shrubs, though badly overgrown, are absolute staples of the art.   

I feel I should point out that the last coupe, of months weren’t all doom and gloom. One thing I would like to mention is the 'Undressed - A Brief History of Underwear' exhibition at the V&A that Soo and I went to visit at the beginning of July. 
I will confess when we booked the tickets it was more because we thought it would be a giggle but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot. Another excellently curated and informative exhibition from the V&A that I would highly recommend. 

We also went to see Adam Ant on the anniversary tour of the Kings of the Wild Frontier album who was absolutely amazing live and just what I needed, to let my hair down and forget my worries for a few hours.

You'll be delighted to know the disaster dresses continue as well. 

1. Disaster dress moving discovery. So I bought this dress in the sales a couple of years back on a sales shopping trip in Reading because I thought it was pretty. 
It didn’t quite fit and I couldn’t be arsed to trek back to Reading to return it so I hung it on the back of the door where it languished ever since (because of course instead of getting any thinner, I just got fatter) 
Obviously on unpacking it I figured I would try it on in the hopes that after my stress induced weight loss it would now fit and I could add another cute dress to my collection.
As it goes it did fit but dear god it looks absolutely hideous on! Good grief. I'll be listing it on Ebay in the very near future, alongside 

2. Disaster dress two. Remember the teapot & teacup print dress I just HAD to buy because of it's amazing print? That I then had fits about whether I would wear it because that amazing print was very pink?

 Well it seems I really should have been thinking about whether it actually looked any good on, because as it goes it also looks awful on me. I have worn it a couple of times being bloody minded but it just looks wrong and I feel wrong in it, so lesson learnt, if you do find a lovely print frock TRY IT ON FIRST before you buy!


Thursday, 28 July 2016

Life etc.

Well it’s been a while. What can I say? Life has been a pretty unrelenting steaming pile of poop. There I was hoping for a bit of a quiet year, to carry on getting our heads around all the drama of last year and continue to support my Mum and Himself’s Dad as they each come to terms with living life alone.

It seems the universe however had different plans. Right out of the blue we were completely floored with the unexpected news that our landlady had decided to sell the house we have called home for the last 10 years and we had just 9 weeks to find something else. Looking back over the last few weeks I have actually been surprised at just how hard this has hit me. Much harder than the death and serious illness that coloured last year so darkly.

I conclude that I was able to roll with those blows because I had a sanctuary to go back to, to shout and weep and rail against the world from, to hole myself up in and mostly to feel safe and secure in. To have that snatched away from me was like having my boat upturned in a stormy sea. I like my security and If I’m honest I just fell to bits.

I’m not great with change, a fact I’ve known about myself for a while so that is no great revelation but the uncertainty this time has been unbearable. 

We started looking for somewhere straight away but it quickly became clear just how much of a reduced rate we have been paying these last few years. The one upside of having scrooge for a landlady was that we got the property super cheap because it needed so much work doing to it. We soon realised we were going to have to find a lot more money each month.

Everyone around us has said the same, “don’t worry, you’ll find somewhere” “it’ll be great, so much better than where you are” “at least you’ll get away from the terrible landlady” but mostly a breezy “don’t worry you’ll find somewhere” Oh how I wish that had come true. 

 At first there was nothing suitable but we didn’t worry too much because we had time. We saw the house that was too small, the house that was too short (a bungalow with a loft conversion where the only place either of us could actually stand upright was the bedroom doorway where the apex of the roof was, nothing like having to crawl on your hands and knees to get into bed!)

We saw the house that was too big, the house that was falling to bits and the house that looked like a shitpit (this was literally, the toilet was unflushed!?!) but nothing that would work for us. The weeks kept rolling relentlessly by and if anything instead of more, there was less choice available.

Then Brexit happened and the whole housing market literally ground to a halt overnight in this area, not sure if it’s the same for the whole country but certainly for Oxfordshire it died a death. According to the agencies within a day viewings on sale properties were being cancelled in droves and people who were due to move out of rentals decided to take them for another year. It was desperate, we were desperate.  Finding ourselves homeless and relying on the kindness of friends or family was looking more and more like reality.

Usually when I’m upset or stressed I comfort eat, my vastly expanded waistline since last year has been the very visual proof of that. This has been different though. I have found myself literally sick with worry. I can’t eat because I feel physically sick all the time. I’ve actually lost a stone but it’s definitely not a diet I recommend.

I wake up multiple times through the night heart pounding, going hot and cold, mind racing, in a panic, panic, panic! I know it’s crazy and I’m making myself ill but I can’t seem to stop it. The slightest thing and I’m in tears and I am not a weepy person, frankly if anything I’m a more of your hard hearted bitch, now I just sit and bawl my eyes out.

I’m truly starting to feel like we are jinxed or cursed or something. Like a dog who’s been kicked too often I now cower waiting for the next hammer blow. Even my lovely neighbour put ‘I hope your luck changes soon’ in my birthday card, my fear is it won’t! Which is not like me by nature a usually a positive person and I really hate feeling as negative and low as this.  

Having said all that last week we finally managed to find something, literally at the 11th hour. The downsides are I really don’t like the house, at all, bah. Plus it’s too expensive (we are having to borrow money to pay the bills) it has no storage as well as the tiniest kitchen and bathroom known to man.

On the plus side though it’s only available short term, we have it for one year, which is great because we can’t actually afford it for any longer. It’s a roof over our heads whilst we regroup and decide what to do next and it’s owned by the manager of the rental agency so if anything goes wrong we don’t have to go too far to get it fixed!

I thought I would be relieved when we found somewhere but I’m not, it’s bloody hard to feel joy about somewhere you don’t even like. I just keep saying ‘it’s only for a year, it’s only for a year’ over and over in my head, it’s my new mantra to make myself feel better when things get too much.  

Packing is endless (you know what a shopaholic/hoarder I am!) and 10 years in a big house means a lot of accumulated ‘stuff’ I have got rid of SO much stuff. Oh my god so, so much.

Seriously bags and bags and boxes and boxes but looking round you wouldn’t even know anything has gone which is really quite depressing.  

A couple of people have said to me I should consider it a cathartic experience and to be fair if it weren’t for all the stress and worry it probably would be. It’s certainly something I plan to continue even after we have moved. As we are only there short term I’m not going to bother unpacking properly, frankly at the moment I can’t even be bothered to unpack at all!

So I will make the effort to re-sort boxes and get rid of more. It has been an eye opener actually how some things I can junk without a second glance and some things I clutch too me like Golum with his precious!! No rhyme or reason to the objects in question either. Mad.

It’s been one hell of a wakeup call. I realise how terribly complacent we had become, expecting life to jolly along at our pace and on our terms, never expecting to be asked to leave. How foolish it is to make a rental property ‘home’.

I have also had the scales fall from my eyes about myself and what I see has made me thoroughly ashamed. I realise I have spent the last few years like the cricket in Aesops fable. Merrily dancing through life being all about the excess and the good times and spending, spending, spending. Just like him my metaphorical winter has come and I find I have nothing to see me through to the next spring. What a mess.  

Not sure if and when normal service will be resumed.


Monday, 16 May 2016

How Not to Travel Light.

I'm currently drinking tea, watching Jeeves and Wooster and nursing a sore arm. I don't know if it was Thursday's pilates, too much gardening, or a combination of both but I am in pain dammit. Thankfully it's not my drinking arm.

This weekend plans changed at the last minute so I got to spend a good long stretch outside, finally sorting the flowerbeds which were so overgrown it was shameful. I'm pretty much done out there which makes me very happy.

Last weekend was a birthday trio (Himself. his Dad and my friend Kay) so we hotfooted it down to Margate to spend some time with Himself's Dad.
As we were only going for one night and might be carrying our bag round with us all day I had to pack light. Not even an overnight bag for me, oh no!, I was going for broke with just a messenger bag.

I was hyperventilating by the time I was done, packing light is not my forte. I still find it hard to believe I backpacked around America for 2 months, I can't go anywhere these days without the kitchen sink at the very least.
I had hardly left the house when I realised I had forgotten my sunglasses, close enough to quickly nip home for them, not so when I realised I had forgotten to pack the handbag I planned to use when we went out for dinner that night.

Oh irony of ironies. The woman who collects handbags, indeed has a house full of handbags was without!!

My options were going to dinner with a bright yellow messenger bag with a huge cartoon monkey face on it, Going to dinner with my possessions in a white carrier bag proclaiming 'Bicester Market - Every Tuesday' or the option I plumped for, diving into Peacocks en route to dinner and buying the first half decent bag I could find, get the girl behind the till to snip the tags off and tip all my possessions into it!
This was what I grabbed in desperation. Good grief.

Dinner was sublime. We went to Giorgio's in Margate, a fab little restaurant and somewhere Himself's family have always gone for special occasions, so it was bitter sweet to be there without his Mum for the first time.
 Beautiful end to a beautiful day.

From there we headed to the old town for a drink in Barnacles
Another place full of happy memories both of Himself's parents and the early days of our own love story.

The next day was another glorious hot day and I managed to grab a couple of hours with Kay sitting on the cliff top at Palm Bay, catching up on all the news. Bliss.

On the shopping front, other than the unexpected bag purchase, I had a voucher for Lady Vintage.

I wisely spent it on their sale page therefore getting three dresses for the price of one. I dithered over this green one for a LONG time. The model is meant to be wearing my size
However she has, well, acres more in the bust department than I, so I was really worried it was gape horrendously on me.
What I hadn't realised was the dress is made from stretch jersey so it was absolutely fine. I would have taken a picture but I spilled my dinner down it so it's in the wash!

Next was this one that I had been eyeing for a while.
I love the quirky key print and I know I will get lots of wear out of it.

The final dress was a real punt. I'm not sure I will have quite have the guts to wear it, or even quite where I shall wear it, but I kept going back to it again and again.
I just loved the summery fruity print so in the end I thought bugger it and bought it.