When it comes to clothes, I have never really considered myself as a ‘dedicated follower of fashion’. Whilst I appreciate nice clothes, I am by no means addicted to designer labels. As a child, I was quite the tomboy, and always happy wearing tracksuits or t-shirts, jeans and trainers as opposed to dresses. With the exception of tracksuits, my clothes and shoes were usually bought from market stalls. In my college years, I had an eclectic dress sense, dressing differently to my friends. And during 1994-1996, New Look took the High Street by storm, and my girly friends and I, owned it.
As an Open University student, I still shop in New Look – usually because I can pick up a bargain with my NUS discount card. But more to the point, that I remain an 18 year old teenager inside, and this often reflects the way that I dress today. Over the years, I have advocated JD Williams, and its online stores such as Simply Be, Fashion World and Marisota; and more recently, Yours Clothing.
And, I have to say, that someone who loves to feel comfortable in their clothes, Yours has really come up top trumps. They are reasonably priced, cater for sizes 14 and above and I am more than happy to part with my cash whilst in my local shop.
Anyway, I digress. Slogan tops – I love them! And I would like to thank the designer brainchild out there who has brought them back into the foray of popular culture. As I sit in Costa Coffee right now, I am wearing a green sweater emblazoned in white writing ‘It is, what it is…’ Coincidentally, I am sipping a bottle of Diet Coke, which on the label reads ‘you do you’. Other slogan tops that I have purchased recently from Yours include a bright pink sweater embroidered in white with ‘Not my problem’; a black one with ‘Now or Never’ in pinkish purple writing; two in grey – the former with ‘Fierce and Fabulous’ in neon orange writing and the latter in block capitals; ‘I don’t sweat, I sparkle!’ I have three t-shirts as well – black with pink and white squirrely writing ‘You do You’, a grey one that reads ‘Perfectly Imperfect’, and a light grey one with ‘Sorry not Sorry’ across the front. They are sooooo comfortable, keeping me toasty warm on winter days like today.
Not just that, the slogan tops are a polite gesture to a certain small-minded and insignificant individual/co-worker who upset me in December, and caused me emotional distress. By way of cheering myself up, I wanted to go on a spending spree. However, with my OU studies on hold, I didn’t want to buy notebooks, pens or folders from Wilko’s or Ryman. So, by splurging on new clothes, I have a new wardrobe for 2020. This does mean that I will be clearing out other clothes that I no longer wear, and donating them to charity. But isn’t that what life is about? Letting go of the old to make space for the new?
Until next time, take care tiddlypeeps x x x
Hello there tiddlypeeps. Is it just me, or is anyone else wanting to hibernate for the rest of January? I really don’t know what’s happening to me – I have turned quite nocturnal. More like a hamster than Count Dracula. I want to sleep most of the day, which results in me surfacing in the late afternoon, and like the hamster’s wheel, I am caught in a cycle of eat, sleep, repeat. And the only thing that I am repeating at the moment, is watching Boardwalk Empire on Now TV. Oh, and job hunting. And blogging. However, I have been making the effort this week to venture outside – not necessarily for my daily dose of Vitamin D, but just to feel part of society.
Whilst I have been in a long distance relationship for over two years now, there are times when my life feels very much like Bridget Jones, Miranda and Miss Havisham rolled into one. When the delectable Mr B goes home, I go into a funk that lasts over a week, and I can’t seem to function as well as I can when he’s around. My humble abode is littered with cobwebs…and I haven’t seen any spiders roaming around my living room for a number of weeks now, and as soon as I do hoover them, they reappear. And even though I am not a crazy cat lady, I sure am a clutter magnet. My Mum has said a few times now that she’ll come round and help me blitz the house, however, I can’t even deal with the stress of that.
I am getting incredibly itchy fingers to start studying again. I know that soon enough it will be time for me to enrol again for A222 Exploring Philosophy with the OU, and one of my fellow students was kind-hearted enough the other week to send me all 47 transcripts for the audio tracks that we have to listen to. And said fellow student is the brainchild behind http://ironcurtaintours.eu/ – which are, according to their Facebook page: ‘Tailor-made transsiberian journeys priced by the KM.’ In other words, exploring Eastern Europe by train. I think that this will go on the travel bucketlist for me and the delectable Mr B one day.
And talking of travels, I received in the post today a parcel from the delectable Mr B, which to my surprise contained the February 2020 issue of Lonely Planet and Dogs Monthly, along with a lovely card which put a smile on my face.
I have watched a three films this week – Emma (1996), The Duchess, both on BBC iPlayer and Richard Jewell. The latter is directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates and Paul Walter Hauser. Based on the real events that took place during the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Hauser plays Richard Jewell, the hero of the hour who soon becomes number one suspect with the FBI, Kathy Bates his Mum, and Rockwell, his lawyer. No other spoilers, but if you do go see it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the film.
On the TV list is White House Farm, Deadwater Fell and The Outsider. So, is it any wonder with all of these wonderful distractions, that I really want to leave the house? And the blanket fort on my sofa?
But for now, I bid you a good evening xxx
via Happy 2020…
Wishing you all a Happy 2020. I spent my New Year’s Eve watching the Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which was shown on BBC One over three consecutive evenings. Whilst this new version has divided critics and fans alike, I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the way in which the screenwriters subverted the norms of previous adaptations. In particular, the characters of Count Dracula and his adversary, Van Helsing, played by Claes Bang and Dolly Wells.
Stoker’s gothic novel has sat on my bookshelf for over 20 years, and last year, I started reading and listening along on Audible, the version narrated by actor Greg Wise. I haven’t finished it as yet, as having updated to a new phone, my library within Audible has to be downloaded again and I will need to start over again. As I don’t like to give out spoilers to films or TV programmes, all I can say is that the BBC One show started where I last listened on Audible. Script/Screenwriting in itself is no easy feat, and I think Gatiss and Moffat should be celebrated for their original twist on Stoker’s classic, and turning the Count into a ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’. And, if their work has divided opinion, then that’s a sign of a job well done.
Also on New Year’s Eve, I was tinkering around with my new dog blog, http://www.thedoggroomingphilosopher.co.uk – and learning more about SEO, categories and hashtags. I still have to work on its mobile app, but I’m getting there.
The delectable Mr B and I had an enjoyable Christmas together, and once again, I was taken aback by his generosity. I am the proud owner of the Friends 25th Anniversary Lego Set, and I built this late Thursday evening/early Friday morning. Over 1000 pieces in all, and I took photographs of each stage of the build. I now have to find a spot in my living room where it can take pride of place. My other gift was a Moleskine notebook, which I will be using as a bullet journal for this year, starting March 2020, as my other bullet journal ends this February. I’ve always kept diaries, usually of the mundane and not so, but bullet journaling helps me to keep track of my finances (or lack of, to be honest) amongst other things. I am also being treated to tools and equipment for Dog Grooming, and whilst we are on the subject of dogs, we have now booked to go to Crufts 2020. I am so excited about that, and Mr B received the tickets today.
Last Saturday, we attended the 35th Anniversary Concert of the 1980s film, Ghostbusters, accompanied by a live orchestra at Liverpool Philharmonic. It was brilliant to see the diversity of fans young and old in the audience. And I would certainly consider something similar in the future. Sunday, we spent time visiting my Dad, Mel, Liv and Roscoe – and we’re really grateful for the gifts that we received. And it didn’t take long for Roscoe to take the stuffing out of his toy turkey (and yes, Roscoe is a beautiful Miniature Dachshund, by the way). Afterwards, we visited our friends Amy and Tim in their new abode in Burscough, stopping off at The Sandpiper in Bickerstaffe en route.
The celebrate the new decade, the delectable Mr B had devised a 1920s inspired menu and it was delicious. Stuffed Pork Tenderloin wrapped in Smoked Bacon, served on a bed of Roasted Vegetables with Braised Red Cabbage; followed by Ritz-Carlton Lemon Cake and White Lily Cocktails. This is not M&S Food, this is Mr B’s food (although I had a helping hand, but thank you to the people behind the online recipes).
Christmas Day itself was spent with our families. I stayed with Mum Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, watching A Christmas Carol (another fantastic adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic), and Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars, and listening to the soundtrack to Blinded By The Light as we prepared our Christmas Dinner. Had a brief catch up too with my nephews and Phoebe, as well as my sister-in-law and their dog Smokey. A massive thank you to all of my family and also Lee’s for their lovely, thoughtful gifts.
As for New Year’s Resolutions, I am following actress and comedian Miranda Hart, and joining her quest to make ‘Zero Resolutions’. This time of year, we often want to change ourselves, however the changes that we want to make, are usually associated with the way we look, or how much we weigh. Whilst I advocate a healthy lifestyle, I want you to know, that you are all ‘Imperfectly Perfect’ as you are now (that saying is credited to a slogan on a t-shirt in Yours Clothing). You should never be defined by the numbers that crop up on your scales or by your reflection in the mirror. However, if you are planning to make changes to your lifestyle, or continuing with your ongoing goals, then I applaud you for that, because it’s not easy. And if you are seasoned gym goers or long-distance runners, and there are a crowd of newcomers in the coming weeks, reach out and encourage them to stay on track…because, once, you too were that person.
So, I am signing off for now, and to quote the lyrics of my favourite musician, Frank Turner:
‘In a world that has decided
That it’s going to lose its mind
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind…‘
Take care of you xxx