Since I started a new job recently, I have the enviable advantage of walking to work. Although it only takes a few minutes, it has of course been wintry over the past few months.
So, I am still in the habit of walking to work in trainers (just like when I had a long commute across London) and switching my shoes when I arrive. I used to be so vain about making sure my style was en pointe from head to toe…but at some point I have ceased to feel any embarrassment about being caught with my trainers on.
When I was a kiddo, I remember my Dad liking a film with Melanie Griffiths and Harrison Ford called “Working Girl“. One of the memories of that film that has stuck with me for many years is the footwear of the women on their commute to work, which of course they change when they reach the office.
The first ten years of my paid employment was in offices, and back then I was too vain or self-conscious to wear comfy shoes on the half-hour walk to work. No, for some crazy reason, I wore my uncomfortable office shoes – silly hey!!!
Nowadays, I am much practical and sensible (well, I like to think so!) and so I wear my comfy trainers on the way to work, and then change into something smarter when I reach the office.
But this whole footwear aspect of my day has brought back to my mind the memory of the film “Working Girl“, and I think that is why so often on my way to work a song floods my mind and I start singing…
I need to sort out my shoes. I have been saying that for ages, but really, really I do. The collection of shoes under my bed, at the bottom of my wardrobe, in boxes in my utility room, in boxes in my storage room. It is just ridiculous.
How did I ever acquire so many shoes? Most of them I was given by friends. Others were treasures I found in charity shops. I just don’t know how I managed to lose all sense and self-control when it came to these acquisitions.
Jack keeps telling me I could sell them on one of these websites where you sell stuff. But that is a bit too complicated for me. I have told him he is welcome to sell my shoes on t’internet, but I cannot face it. I would prefer to donate them to charity shops. Which is perhaps ironic since so many of them came from charity shops.
This is a subject I have written about before I am sure. I just feel so overwhelmed by the task I keep on procrastinating it. My shoe collection is still there, still not shrinking, still full of shoes I have not worn in over a year (which goes against my principles: if you don’t use it in a year, give it away).
It’s a chronic condition – shoe overload syndrome. I don’t know when or how I will be cured. But I imagine eventually it is going to be brutal and dramatic.
I found an older post about my work shoes!!! This particular variety was great…but not I have found a slightly different model of Sketchers which is even better. Anyway, I am still a big fan of Sketchers for work footwear.
On Saturday, I worked a long day…and it was busy, very very busy! Before we unlocked the doors to customers, I arrived half an hour early so I could do some cleaning before we were busy. Boy did it get busy!
I was wearing a really comfortable pair of shoes (the day before I wore the wrong shoes and my feet were aching). I am so glad I wore those comfy shoes because Saturday was so intense. I kept on thinking about how wearing comfy shoes can make all the difference to your day at work.
Anyway…I only started this post to tell you about the ten minutes I was walking down to work early in the morning. I felt so excited about life, and Goldfinch, and my trip to Australia. It was a marvellous feeling. And I started to sing. Well, at first I was humming, because it was rather early in the morning and I was walking past residential houses. But when I was walking on the main road away from the houses, I started singing at the top of my voice with a happy heart a song that always makes me feel like skipping.
“LET’S GO FLY A KITE”
I saw the film “Saving Mr Banks” some time in the past year. It was very interesting. I had no idea of the story behind the author of Mary Poppins. I think this was my favourite part of the movie:
I have mentioned in a couple of posts this week that I have been envious of all the joggers I see on my way to and from work.
I also declared my plans to try some gentle jogging. In recent years I go for long walks and hikes (safer for me at the moment) but at the moment, it does not seem in keeping with the restrictions to hike like I normally would (an average walk for me is six hours, but I would often do more in the summer).
I am grateful for the advice and tips from others when I asked what I should do about the new running shoes I was gifted by a very sweet member of my family.
I had decided to return the shoes to Adidas (because they seemed to be just a little too tight). It seemed obvious that if they are tight when I am wearing them around the house, they are not going to be suitable for running in.
But yesterday morning I put the shoes on and they seemed to be just right. They were comfortable, with plenty of wiggle room, They did not seem tight at all.
So I became hesitant about returning them. Anyway…I went to work and was running around on my feet all day. We are on our feet all day, except for our lunch break (I only had a fifteen minute break each day I worked this week). When I arrived home from work, I looked at the running shoes again. Should I cut the labels off? (Which would mean I can’t return them.) Should I try running with them?
Well, I slipped my feet into them again only to find they were really tight again. That’s when I realized, it’s my feet that are the problem. After a whole day on my feet my poor feet are obviously more swollen than they are in the morning.
When I woke up this morning, I tried them on again – perfect fit. Very comfy, lots of wiggle room, not at all tight. It’s my blinkin’ feet that are the problem!
So….the conclusion I have come to:
KEEP THE RUNNING SHOES AND GO FOR A GENTLE JOG FIRST THING IN THE MORNING BEFORE MY LONG DAY AT WORK!
I wonder what on earth is going to motivate me to get out of my snuggly bed and go jogging before work? Yikes! Let’s see how I get on hey!
I noticed that for this week’s FANDANGO’S PROVOCATIVE QUESTION we are asked: “What’s Your Style?“ So I am linking one of my older posts in which I answered Rory’s questions on style.
I have surprised myself by being able to answer all of the questions in Rory’s latest “Game-On” challenge. Afterall, I have been shopping in charity shops since I was sixteen because as a volunteer, I did not have much spare cash for clothing. I know nothing of what is supposed to be the fashion. I just know what I like and what I think looks good.
Just in case you have not seen them before, these challenges are created by the marvellous A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! and in his post below, he lists all of the rules and explains the challenge:
In my life…oooh, well colour is gorgeous. Goodness, imagine life without colour! Wouldn’t that be boring!
Q2] What is most favourite colour to wear?
Well, I like blues and greeny blues, teal I guess. Any colours at the cooler side of the rainbow.
I use navy as my base colour instead of black. As I think black makes me look too pale and sickly. I team various shades of blues and teals with either neutral items or tan leather or accessories.
I used to have something in every colour going, but ended up with too many clothes, most of which could not make a matching outfit. I have a very small wardrobe now, so I have a capsule wardrobe all based on my favourite colours.
Q3] Is there a colour that you wear that brings the best out in you and in others – in so far as compliments?
Frustratingly…people love me in pink. It is because I am fair with golden hair and I turn pink very easily. My rosy cheeks look amazing in a rosy pink top. Not hot pink, not pale pink, but that rose kind of pink.
I always receive compliments whenever I wear that shade of pink. So, I do have a bit of it in my wardrobe. I have a couple of navy dresses with a bit of pink in the floral print and I team it with a little pink cardi. It is something I would wear when I am feeling a bit low, as I know people will say I really suit that colour.
Q4] Are you a person who likes to overdress for the day or are you a follower of the credo, less is more?
In every day life, if I am out and about, meeting and greeting, socializing, and especially when I am wanting to look lovely for Goldfinch, I love wearing a dress, a beautiful dress, or a day-dress. I just love feeling feminine. Most of my dresses are knee-length or just below and they are “fit & flair” style as it suits me more than a straight cut dress.
If I am gardening or cleaning or decorating or digging trenches…or taking a dog for a walk, or jogging, or hiking up Cadair Idris, I am going to wear something appropriate for the occasion:
PQ5] What are five of your best items of clothing that you simply couldn’t be without? [and l don’t mean underwear/socks]
Oooooh…it depends on the season.
Now that the cold weather is ahead, I would not be without my 100% waterproof Gortex tan leather boots. Someone gave me some money to go and buy some good winter boots because my old boots were springing leaks and I bought a pair in Clarks in the sale for about £70 and I love them. three years later they are still in almost perfect condition despite how often I wear them in the wintertime.
Also in the winter I love my big thick navy coat.
My big woolly scarf which is navy and teal check.
I have a “go-to” dress when I am not sure what to wear. It is a navy Phase Eight dress, and I love the shape. It is “fit & flare” and it is incredibly flattering and easy to team up with most items in my wardrobe. I found it in a charity shop and snapped it up and I love it.
In the summertime this year I realized how much I needed a pair of pretty, but solid sandals. I found it really hard to find a pair I liked but then one day when I was desperate for more comfortable footwear I found a pair up in Manchester in “Office”. I wrote all about them in this post:
Q6] Do you dress for the season, as in colour wise, or just throw on whatever is warm and practical?
I do dress for the weather. I don’t really change my colours drastically…most of my clothes are blue or teal or navy. I might wear more white in the summer.
PQ7] If you were going for an evening out and the dress code was ‘smart casual’ what is your ideal outfit and why?
If my friends tell me (and I often need their advice) that is more of a dressed-up jeans smart casual, I have some pretty tops and jackets that I can team up with jeans.
Left to my own interpretation, if I was told the dress code was smart casual…my first choice would probably be a dress, knowing me. But a dress that was not too glamorous or opulent. A navy day-dress with a thin tan belt. I would probably wear it with smart but flat ballet pumps, which give a dress a more relaxed feel.
Q8] If you were having to attend an important meeting or appointment and the dress code was smart – what would your outfit be then?
If it was a business meeting or an interview…
…something more along these lines.
Q9] How many pairs of shoes do you own, and what is the breakdown [as in casual, smart, evening, leisure]
I feel rather embarrassed about this. So recently, my sister Milly went up to my flat up in North London to retrieve some things that would be useful to me. Only she brought back so much more than I expected, and for some reason she decided to bring my entire shoe collection. Well, actually, I have a few pairs of footwear up at my parent’s home and at my sister’s homes.
The problem is…I am very good at finding bargains in charity shops after years of practice. Most pairs of shoes I have bought for just £2 or £3. I look after them because they are well-made shoes, and I have a friend who is a cobbler who has helped to keep my shoe collection looking polished!
I can’t face counting them, but I can tell it is at least fifty pairs (I should have a sort out and give some to charity shops, because I don’t need them all – especially not the stilettos!)
Q10] Do you have classic clothing, or classic items in your wardrobe that you have had for years and never go out of fashion if so name three?
I have a black pair of tailored trousers…
and a beige trench-coat…
and a pair of smart black heels…
that I guess could never really go out of fashion.
I feel like they are a kind of Audrey Hepburn look and can be worn by anyone of any age and make them look smart and stylish.
Q11] Are you into plain colours, wild colours or outlandish designs or a mixture and which do you favour more?
I don’t think I am into anything outlandish. I think on the whole my dress sense is rather conservative. I like to wear beautiful dresses, but on the whole I like to wear clothes that are modest, well-made, appropriate for the occasion. I don’t like to draw attention to myself, but I like to be well-presented and look as if I am making an effort.
PQ12] Do you have a favourite quote with regards fashion or design – if so what is it?
I don’t think about fashion. I don’t talk about fashion. 90% of what I own I bought in charity shops. It is only good quality footwear and underwear that I am willing to buy new!
But I found one quote which isn’t completely laughable to me.
Q13] Knee high socks, ankle socks, shin socks or no socks?
If I am playing hockey…knee high socks.
If I am jogging…little ankle socks.
What are shin socks? I don’t know what they are…are they like socks with shin-pads sewn into them? If so, they would be great for hockey.
If I am wearing sandals…no socks. If there is one crime against style it is socks with sandals – aaaaaagh!!!!!
Q14] Can you see the connection between colour and music and if so does it influence your dress code for the day in any way?
I don’t think my mind is wired to see the connection between colour and music other than they both make life rather exquisitely wonderful! I think they both sensational gifts that make life anything but boring.
I don’t think music influences my dress code. I love colours, but for practical reasons (lack of space), I stick to my capsule wardrobe of blues and teals and tan leather.
PQ15] If you are going out somewhere special and want to listen to some music to put you in the mood whilst getting dressed up, what do you listen to? [Provide link please]
I don’t normally dress to music. I might put on some music to get me in the mood for going out, depending on where I am going. I am trying to think of a song about dressing up before going out to somewhere special…this is the tune in my head (probably because I used the word “sensational” in my previous answer):
Q16] How often do you buy new clothing for the season or the year?
If something I already own and is very useful is wearing out, beyond repair, I start to pop into charity shops to see if I can find something similar to replace it. I do pop into charity shops from time to time, always on the look out for a bargain.
Q17] Remember tie-dye from the 70’s was it a thing you followed, bought into or worse, how do you feel about it now?
Well, I don’t believe I ever wore anything tie-dye. But that is probably because I am a child of the eighties. I think I would have liked it, I liked bright colours and wore all sorts of colours as a child.
I don’t think I would wear it now though…I don’t like to dress in an entire rainbow of colour, I think I would feel too conspicuous.
I don’t have any strong feelings about tie-dye. For those that can pull off wearing the entire rainbow – good for you!
Q18] What is the brightest coloured item of clothing you have in your wardrobes/drawers?
I have a raspberry Laura Ashley light cardi. It is pretty.
I wear it with a Laura Ashley skirt which is beige but has a rose print on it.
Everything else in my wardrobe is navy, teal, blue, or neutral colours.
Q19] What is the most expensive item of clothing that you have in your wardrobe? How often do you actually wear it?
Well…I think the item that was the most expensive originally is a Windsmoor winter coat which I found in a charity shop with the labels on and snapped up for £20. I feel as if it is one of my best bargains.
I guess the most money I have personally spent was the £75 for the Clarks boots I mentioned earlier in this post.
PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?
Not this time.
Q21] Is being ‘fashionable’ important to you, or is being comfortably attired more so?
I don’t feel as if I am “fashionable”. I am not really aware of what is in fashion at any time.
However, I think I have a style. I wear what is appropriate for the occasion – so practical clothes when I am doing practical tasks, and then when I am not getting my hands dirty, I wear dresses. I have always liked beautiful dresses, right from childhood.
I loved running round playing football, climbing trees and riding my bike in shorts and a T-shirt…but I also loved pretty dresses. I explained how my sense of style developed in this post:
“I also had issues about the uniform – well it was grey…as some school uniforms are. I said to Mrs Richardson “Yes, I know all the other children have to wear a uniform, but what I don’t understand is, why do I have to wear a uniform?” I didn’t see myself as one of them, but that I was being forced against my will to be at this school. Well….whatever I said to the teachers, I was allowed to attend school throughout the infants and wear my choice of clothes rather than the uniform. What did I wear? I had so many pretty little girl dresses that had been given to my mum by my dad’s customers and friends. Quite an impressive wardrobe. I remember some of them vividly. Although I also loved wearing shorts and T-shirts at home, I was too proud to wear shorts for school, I did want to be smart. It sometimes strikes me as odd that although I was such a tomboy in so many ways – I always loved my dresses.”
I developed that sense of “style” as a little girl and it has ever left me. Although I have had a life-time of “hand-me-downs” and charity shop clothes, I have always chosen items that I feel comfortable and confidant in. Hardly anyone would have any idea that I don’t buy my clothes first-hand. Stylish on a shoestring!
These awards are fun…and a great way to support each other’s blogs. I loved Teresa’s questions and am pleased to be able use them in this post. Below are the rules for the “Sunshine Blogger Award”.
Thank the blogger who nominated you.
Use the “Sunshine Blogger Award” logo on your post.
Answer the 11 questions the selector asks of you.
Nominate 5-11 bloggers you want to give the award to.
Ask the following bloggers that you selected 11 questions of your own.
These are the questions The Haunted Wordsmith has asked her nominees:
Which Muppet, Sesame Street, or Jim Henson character is your favourite, and why?
Fraggle Rock is one of the first shows I remember watching. For every obvious reason I wanted to be Red. I loved her to bits!
I can hear the theme tune in my head now that I am thinking about Red. I would love to have chance to watch all of the episodes over again.
What is your favourite time of day?
I think I am going to have to be honest and say BEDTIME. I used to be a morning person. But since I received head injuries three years ago, I wake up each morning with pain in my head. So nowadays, mornings involve a regime of making myself ready able to face the day! And getting through the day trying to ignore that my head feels as if it might split in half at any moment!
I cannot tell you how much I look forward to the celebratory moment I have within myself each evening, The moment when I realize I have survived another day and it is perfectly acceptable to lay my heavy head on the pillow and drift away into sleep. Almost every time I slip into bed, it is just as delicious as it was the night before. Once I am horizontal, it takes me seconds to be unconscious. If it was not for setting two alarms (I have even set a third on days I need to wake up for something important) I am not sure how long I would sleep for. Every now and then I have the chance to go to sleep and not have to wake up early. I can easily sleep for more than twenty hours.
If you were to die today, what would you want for your last meal?
I am going to admit that I have occasionally had the thought that the pain in my head was so intense that it could be my last day. That sounds a bit morbid doesn’t it. I am not a hypochondriac. It’s just that I have been told it was a miracle I survived what happened to me the night I went to the park. I have had several scares since then.
Now, we are not allowing ourselves to dwell on the negative, but I have often had reminders that I must make the most of every day! Life is such a precious gift. And I do…I know it sounds daft, but I have become just a bit more determined to make everyday a bit special. I have occasionally thought to myself…this could be your last meal. I know exactly what it would be…a vegetarian lasagne, with layers of spinach and ricotta cheese (or cannelloni) with a fresh salad and a wedge of garlic bread. I love lots of dishes, but if I could choose, this would be my last meal.
If you could spend 24 hours anywhere and anytime where would it be and what would you want to do?
Does this answer the question?
Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, or something else?
Oooooh…in moderation I think I could cope with a little of the first two. Doctor Who is a big no I am afraid. My brother used to watch it when I was tiny and it terrified me. I remember very literally hiding behind the sofa with my hands over my eyes. Terrifying. I probably would not find it so frightening now. But I was exposed to it at such a young age, it put me off for life.
Star Wars – hmmm. I kind of like the epicness of it. But there are a lot of very unbalanced characters within it – are there not? I feel like sitting them down with a glass of milk and a plate of cookies and asking them if we can work through their issues together. You know how sometimes parents have to confiscate mobile phones from their teenage offspring. Well, if I were allowed into the Star Wars films, I would be confiscating light sabres until we all learnt to control our hissy fits.
So I guess of the three, it would be more likely Star Trek I guess…which surprises me as I do not consider myself a “Trekkie”. But there are some interesting characters I can respect to an extent. Especially Kathryn Janeway. Finding yourself light-years away from home and having to keep your crew together and motivated to set a course for home. Yeah – respect to her definitely.
What is your favourite musical?
I have seen it on stage at least twenty times. I am not sure I can confess to it being my favourite musical, it’s just on stage the whole thing with the chandelier always excited me. Please don’t tell Goldfinch, but I secretly like it, even though I am sick to the back teeth of having to go and see it with friends who visit London. I don’t think I could sit through it again.
I am probably mad for saying it, but part of me wants Christine to choose to stay with the Phantom. On stage I quite like the number “Masquarade”, but in the 2004 film I loved seeing these three familiar faces perform “Prima Donna”.
If you had to pick a single post written by someone else, what would it be and why?
Ooooooh…so many great posts. Since I have been nominated by The Haunted Wordsmith I would like to share some of my favourites from her site. The first post I ever read by Teresa Grabs, the genius behind The Haunted Wordsmith, was “The Interview”. I love it still.
But what I love about Teresa’s site is that she is a prolific writer. She never seems to tire of coming up with something new and fresh and she consistently publishes fiction that immediately grabs your attention and makes you want to keep reading right to the last word. She is a pillar of the blogging community too. I am sure many would agree with me.
Do you recycle?
Yes…we have to….we would be fined if we did not.
I was actually thinking of taking a photograph of my recycling box at this point…and then I asked myself why on earth you would want to see my recycling box??? Just getting a bit carried away with the pictures for this post.
If you could relive any moment in your life, what would it be?
If it was just one moment I could relive, it would be the last time I saw my ex-flatmate, before the night I was the victim of a crime. I had pressed the button for the elevator and was waiting. The doors opened and he was there on his own. He scowled at me with so much fury. I stepped back. There was no way I was going to be inside the elevator on my own with him. I went out for a meal with friends. Afterwards I did not feel I could return home, because I was scared to see him.
I have often thought about what I would change if I could relive that moment. I am afraid that I really don’t have a clever answer. But it would be something like this. I almost feel I would fall at his feet and I would try to say something along the lines of:
Whatever it is that caused this…it really is not worth it. If there was anything I could do to make this right, I would jump at the chance. Anything…anything I have I would give for there to be peace between you and I.
If you could create anything, what would you create and why?
If I could design and create anything, it would be a shoe that looked elegant and feminine and I could wear with beautiful dresses…but had all the practicality and walk-ability of a pair of running shoes, but was just as comfortable as the snuggly booties I wear during the winter indoors. Aaaaah. Perfect!
What gift do you want most? What gift would you like to be able to give someone?
I don’t really like being given things. Unless they are edible. I have to be able to leave accommodation with short notice and move on to the next and fit everything into a suitcase. So anything that won’t fit, I have to leave behind or take to a charity shop. But I do like experiences. If someone gifted me with horse-riding lessons, a scuba-diving course or a hot-air balloon ride (not on my own though, I would prefer to go with some of my nearest and dearest) I would be very excited.
Hmmm….gifts. I am not brilliant with choosing objects as gifts I have to admit. I always try to find out what a person really wants or likes. If they want a kindle, sure I will buy them a kindle. A gift should be what the recipient likes rather than what you like. I prefer a paper book, to reading from a screen…but blogging involves reading from a screen…so it is growing on me. But to me a piece of technology does not say “I think the world of you…and so I wanted to give you something special”.
There was one gift that I planned for a family we were close to. They were moving away and we wanted to give them a little goodbye. I wish I had a photograph… I will have to describe it to you. So I bought a small wooden chest. I filled it with chocolate coins wrapped in gold and silver foil. We also threw in chocolates wrapped in coloured foil which made them look like gem stones. We put a few shells inside the chest and a toy crab. I used some orange netting from some satsumas I had bought and put a toy fish inside the net. We put an empty bottle inside and we wrote out a farewell message, which we aged with teabags and burning around the edges to make it look like an ancient scroll, rolled up and stuffed inside the bottle. They loved it!
I have often been inspired to organize surprise parties and special tokens for GOODBYES…I find they really pull on my heart strings. Some of my friends have been very moved that I had managed to get so may of their nearest and dearest together without them knowing. For me a GOODBYE is a real reason to get everyone together and show someone how much they are loved and how many people they have touched. Then when they move on elsewhere (and they are bound to face challenges) they know how much they are loved and how many people are rooting for them.