Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Dressing the weekend

The week is off to a productive start. If, by productive, one means intermittent attention to work between the hours of 10 and 4, new shoes and too much manchego and pesto while waiting for LBB to finish the culinary masterpiece that will be boeuf bourguignon in two hours time.

I'm feeling rather tired by all the exertions. Though it could also feasibly be the cloudy, snuggly warmth now tucking into the nooks and crannies of our apartment courtesy of the radiators that's actually making me dozy. Whatever...

The week is begunneth and the countdown to all things year end is on. It was 3 degrees here this morning. It's three weeks until the siblings arrive for Little Brother's 21st birthday and seven weeks until LBB and I fly home for Christmas. Cannot wait. Though thankfully there is plenty planned to amuse and distract between now and then.

Weekend being case in point. Tors and her husband, known generally as The Hungry One, took LBB and I out for dinner on Friday night to Hibiscus - a belated birthday present from They of the Recently Arrived. Intense, flavorsome, heavenly food with a white wine from somewhere in the Alsace region that I made a mental note to remember the name of, only to promptly forget. The Wedding may be in excess of 12 months away but I'm already doing some mental filing of Useful Things To Remember and Good Things to Include. The white wine being one of them.... Oh well. I have 12 months to perfect this whole bridezilla thing.

Anyway - back to the weekend. So dinner on Friday was great friends and good food and a turn in the green dress I bought in Berlin last year and love love love but have far from worn worn out.

In truth I'm having a style crisis. Working in retail does not help.

And living in London only confuses the matter with the multiple layers and excess of skinny jean hipsters and my beloved jewellery drowned by cardigans and scarves and indecision. And it's now that jeanstuckedintoboots time of year and it's very upsetting for a girl of my decidedly pear shape. Even confronting the possibility of such a get up guarantees an inner running dialogue (once we've confirmed of course that jeans are the trouser of choice for the day) that goes something like "No way. But it will keep your toes warm. But it will make your legs look like chicken drumsticks wedged into footwear. But it will keep your toes and your feet warm. But you will look fat and a bit ridiculous and don't pretend you won't feel self-conscious. But it will keep your toes and feet warm AND dry. Oh fuck this. Just wear a dress."

Like I said. Identity crisis. At least in Bondi I had a vague understanding of my sartorial sense. These days my wardrobe has a sort of schizophrenic vomit thing going on. It's very confusing. And basically means that without fail I leave the house loathing what I'm wearing, uncomfortable, self conscious and completely unsure what I can do about it. God only knows what will happen when the time comes to look for The Dress.

But I digress. Back to the weekend. On Saturday night, after a day spent mooching about at home avoiding any direct contact with the cold air outside, LB and I took off for the Brixton Academy to see The Cat Empire. I'd never been there before and LB had never see them live before but it was so much fun and the music was just insane. Sunday was again spent mooching about before a trip to Chiswick for house stuff and groceries before dinner in Covent Garden with LB's Kiwi friends. I had planned to see an exhibition of some sort at some stage - Ai Wei Wei at Tate was crossed off the list last week before visitors were crossed off the exhibition - but it didn't eventuate and I wasn't too sad about it. One less outfit to worry about apart from anything else.

Art failing aside, all in all it was a successful weekend with a healthy mix of activity, eating and bludging about in tracksuit pants. This week I'm hoping there'll be some culture amidst the crappy grind of nowhere jobs and maybe also some exercise and a date night. Right now though there's boeuf bourguignon.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Welcome back woollens

It's cold. The clocks don't change for another two weeks, winter doesn't officially start until November 1 but today was the first day I felt it in my toes. That numbing, achy cold that says, "Hello, I think I need socks. And probably some sensible leather shoes in the form of smart boots." I was anticipating this day. Last week I pulled out all my woollens - the chunky knits, the cute cardies, the accessory scarves, the functional scarves, the v-necks, the roll necks and my three pairs of knitted bed socks. And still I left the house today in fabulous but totally inappropriate slip ons...

The grey is steadily making itself known, mopping up the last occasional blue days and sunshine with a moody sort of melancholy that will eventually see it settle in until March. Which feels like forever away and too soon at the same time. Not too soon for sunshine mind, more too soon for a new year with an old broken plan. But one thing at a time.

LB and I had a lovely weekend, armed with little more than a plan to do "Something" that involved leaving the house. Something turned out to be a stroll through Portobello Road Markets, the purchasing of an exquisite, totally insane necklace (for me, not LB) and a visit to Hyde Park to see the new Anish Kapoor sculpture exhibition. It's been a while since I dragged LB somewhere in the name of Art but we had a great time and I am now earnestly in love with Kapoor's work. His Sky Mirror appeared to me like an alchemic dish of lost souls and moments, with the stainless steel disc angled skywards and thus reflecting the shifting grey clouds and silent thoughts of the world above. It was just exquisite.

To write about it or not write about it however remains the question. Pithy, self-indulgent observation is one thing, sitting down to extol my MAsterful opinion on contemporary art is quite another. I still haven't written anything for myself since the knee-capping of my confidence and honestly, it feels just like that summer in 2006 when that stupid big wave at South Bondi landed on me after a moment of hesitation (FYI dive, don't think) and I came away with a mouthful of sand and an inability to go beyond knee deep for the rest of the summer without having a serious anxiety attack.

I'd like to imagine that my triumphant career version of the conquering of my oceanic panic by successfully swimming the Bondi to Bronte 12 months later was somewhere in the non-wave near pipeline but I'm not holding my breath. Basically, my convoluted point is that I think I have to learn to swim again, artistically speaking. And without the help of that patient Bronte lifeguard. 

I'm trying not to over-think overthinking it but giving up on my career - momentarily, temporarily or forever, whatever it is I'm doing right now - is basically me on the beach, refusing to get my feet wet. Or unable to. I don't know. Whatever the case, Anish Kapoor on a cold, grey day in Hyde Park made something inside me want to get back in the water. 

I guess I just have to trust that whenever I'm ready, I won't sink, despite the conditions. Though speaking of conditions, I probably shouldn't be waiting for a warm day either.  

Saturday, 2 October 2010

For the love of girls

Lovely Boy is currently in Munich indulging in that annual paean of all things male excess otherwise known as Oktoberfest. Beer, schnitzel, pork knuckle and more beer, where atmosphere means a roller coaster and an oompa loompa band and civility doesn't necessarily mean the use of cutlery. I struggle to envision anything less appealing than an overcrowded tent full of drunk men and rotisserie meats but then perhaps I'm just a snob. I prefer to think it's that I'm a discerning female but whatever floats your boat... Either way, I've had a lovely couple of days.