DAY 84: BABY DRIVER…

DAY 84: BABY DRIVER…

I finally got around to seeing Baby Driver today.

I’d heard only good things about it. No, that’s an understatement. I’d heard only exceptional, exhilarating, things about it. Literally everyone I know who has seen it has said that either 1) it’s their favourite film of 2017 so far or 2) it was so good they went to see it a second time in the space of a week.
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DAY 83: FLOWERS…

DAY 83: FLOWERS…

Here is your annual reminder, that now that Spring is knocking on the door, that you must go out and buy yourself Spring flowers, for as long as they are in season.

Not just one bunch, but a multitude. Factor it into your weekly food allowance, after all, a healthy cluster of bunches will cost you little more than one meal out, but give you infinitely more pleasure, and a guaranteed week of joy and light.

Gather up all of your mason jars, vases, glasses, and jugs from around the house – glass ones, in a rainbow of colours, ceramic ones in all patterns, some short, some tall, some round, some slim – and set them all on your kitchen table. You need enough flowers to be able to populate them all, even if it’s just one or two blooms in each.

Then take your vases and dot them all around the house. Ensure there’s some right by the front door so they’re the first thing to greet you as you get in from a long, terrible, day at work. Some next to your bed so they greet you every morning when you wake. And in the kitchen, to keep you company whilst you cook and do chores. And then every bookcase, window sill, and dull, flat surface.

This way, you can ensure that every time you walk into a room you will be greeted with the happiest of sights and scents – it’s like having a smiling Jeff Goldblum, draped in a silk robe, clutching a gin and tonic and slice of gateaux waiting for you. That shit can’t fail to make you feel good about yourself, and full of hope and promise of the summer that lies ahead.

Whilst you’re at it, on sunny weekend days, open the windows and let the air in.

Play some jazz.

And make some nice tea.

These things are not luxury, they’re self-care, and they’re just what you need after a long, dark, cold, winter of hibernation.

And always remember this most fundamental of life rules: never, ever, wait for someone else to buy you flowers.

x

DAY 82: WORLD…

DAY 82: WORLD…

I had a really insightful and thought provoking experience in a clothing store today that I wanted to share and talk about.

\In my lunch hour I popped into our department store for a quick browse, and passed through World, as I always do, to swoon over their to-die-for fragrance selection. However I found that all of the perfumes had been cleared out and the entire store was having a clearance sale, to allow them to move to their new stand-alone premises in a few months. As a result everything was drastically on sale – like down to $20, $50, and $100. Amazing bargains.

I have only ever bought one garment from World because of 1) Price – nothing is usually less than $400 and 2) Sizing – it all runs a bit small and stops at a Large, which is about a 14. Loose fitting things are sometimes okay, but anything tailored isn’t going to work on me. And the whole thing intimidated me so much that I usually don’t even bother trying anything on, as a result.

However, today, my eyes fell upon a dress that I’d seen a few months previously – the colour was what grabbed me. A most vivid, royal blue, dress. Not only was the colour amazing, but it was in velvet – my favorite of all fabrics.It was down from $500 to just $50. Which is an incredible deal.

The style is cut as a very tight, form fitting, wiggle dress – Joan from Mad Men would happily wear it. Which is a style I do wear when I’m in the mood – but being World I had immediately dismissed it as something that won’t fit so I never closely looked at it last time.

However this time I picked it up, they had it in a Large, and I noticed that, despite the velvet exterior, the dress was actually made from literal wetsuit material – thick knit stretchy scuba. Interesting and unusual – but this actually gave some hope that it would stretch and mold over my curves.

Not feeling the most confident about myself today I hesitated on deciding whether I’d try it on. I didn’t feel in the mood to be disappointed and made to feel shitty and insecure if it looked awful on, or worse wouldn’t even get over my shoulders.

But I was curious, because it was so unusual and I wanted to see how that fabric looked on. So I took a big breath and embarked on the changing room with no hope or expectations. The assistant warned me that it is a struggle to get on, which helped, and made me persevere and not get disheartened as I fought to get it over my bust. And, well, it took a lot of wiggling and holding of breath, but to my surprise, I got into it! I wish to note that this is purely due to cut and fabric and not because I’ve lost weight or anything like that.

It was very tight, but then it’s meant to be, and did wonders for my posture! However I  felt very insecure in its tightness – as I was not wearing the right underwear, my tummy felt very prominent. And although the assistant told me it looked great, I didn’t really believe her.

All I could see when I looked in the mirror were the bulges and lumps in my mid-section. But then I also saw that  it showed off my features – my boobs and small waist – wonderfully and that I was feeling like this because I’m just not used to seeing myself in this shape of dress.

I knew that with the right hair, heels, underwear and accessories (and a couple of gins) I’d feel 10x more confident and strut into the room like I owned it. I still wasn’t sure though.

Usually this is a sign for me to walk away. But the colour and fabric kept drawing me in.

Then I realized that my main considerations on whether I bought this garment had dramatically changed from how I would have thought five years ago.If I’d have been in this exact position five years ago I’d have thought like this:

1. It’s an absolute bargain, just buy it because it’s very cheap and this is a great deal, even if it’s not right you’d be stupid to miss out on this price

2. Buy it for when you’re 5kg lighter. Then you’ll be able to wear it with confidence. It’s not quite right now, but soon it will be. Just buy it now for the future.

Instead, today, my thoughts  went like this:

1. It’s an incredible bargain. But if I’m not going to wear it then it’s a waste of $50, so it’s not about price

2. I have to be comfortable and happy to wear it as I am right here, today. No thinner, not when you’ve dropped a size, or started the diet,  but just as you are right now

I paused, and I considered, and in the end I decided that I do accept myself as I am in this dress. That I would wear it this weekend. That yes, I have a tummy, and hips, and it’s very revealing of my shape, but just as many people will be looking at my good points, as the bad, which I am naturally pre-disposed to fixate on.

And so I bought it.

And I’ve been thinking about it a lot ever since because it felt really significant and important because it was a way of thinking I’d never really experienced before, as I’ve been in something of a fashion comfort zone for the past few years, and have until now avoided this dilemma by avoiding this kind of shape.

It was a moment where you suddenly realise how much you’ve grown, changed and become at peace with yourself…all without really realizing. It was fascinating to see how I’d done such a 180 in how I viewed  things.

And it felt really empowering, great, and liberating. I now have this amazing dress that I know I can wear right away, not “in a few months”, or when I wake up as the perfect version of myself (NB: this date is NEVER).

That I accept myself just as I am.
x

DAY 81: JEFF…

DAY 81: JEFF…

I was seventeen when I was first introduced to Jeff Buckley. An older, cooler, dude from the cafe I worked in on weekends would lend me stacks of CD’s, of music he thought I should know.

One day he he handed me an album with a pretty faced young guy on the front, wearing a spangled jacket, and an earring. The way he clutched the microphone made him look like an easy listening crooner like Harry Connick Jr. So needless to say, I was reluctant on this one.

But within three tracks of Grace I was in deep, undying, besotted love. How could this man sing like a choir of angels one minute, then be like a howling like a sex wolf the next, then shredding the guitar like Hendrix. All whilst looking like a hotter, prettier, version of James Franco in Freaks and Geeks, as if that were even something I ever thought possible.

As my listens to the album grew into the ten’s, then the hundreds, and I learned more about him via obsessive internet reading and the couple of iffy biographies that the local library had, so did my love for him.

He had everything that a romantic, endlessly-dreaming, music obsessed teenage girl could ever want – an infamous, tragic, famous musician father who died young, a pained and tortured soul as he deals with these inevitable family comparisons, a deep set rage and anguish, good looks, infinite talent, New York kudos, and then, of course, his own mysterious, unexpected, heartbreaking death at the young age of 30, as he was right on the cusp of recording his second album. With his death he left the world one perfect album to fetishise and idolise – his legend and beauty set in stone forever.

Consequently I dearly wanted a troubled and pained boyfriend of my own, who played guitar hilts peeking through his gorgeous lush fringe. Who’d let me wear his musky flannel shirts, whilst he opened his heart and soul to me about his family sorrow, and wrote epic seven minute love songs, for me, about the first time we made love, or fucked, or both.

But now here I am, aged 33, and with a few of those emotionally tortured and pained boyfriends under my belt, for which I definitely blame Jeff for, I think I can say that I am well and truly over that fantasy. It all seems nice and romantic, whilst staring at your bedroom walls, listening to Last Goodbye for the 16th time that day, but in reality I now know it means nothing but long nights of sulking in silence, butterflies in the gut (and not the good kind), arguments in public places, and spending hour upon hour listening to him whinge about his problems and feeling and tears. Oh and so many tears. So many. Some are his, but they're mostly yours. In fact, they're pretty much always yours. Despite all of this, you'll hang on, suffering, convinced you can fix him, you can cure his pain, you can be the one to make him happy. And then in the end, he'll be the one to dump you, and creak your heart, because you know, he told you all along he wasn't ready for this kind of relationship, he never promised you more, he can't do this, he's to damaged and you'll never truly understand his situation and damage…or some other bullshit that he'll cry at you as he walks out the door.

Nope. Give me an emotionally available, happy, kind, and committed type who has a steady job, gets along with his parents, thinks that sulking is for five year olds, and isn’t afraid to talk about, or make plans with you, further than two weeks in advance.

And Jeff? Well I’ll always love his music, the album Grace, and have a special spot for him in my heart that we reserve for all of our first loves. But otherwise, geez, what a huge sulky man-baby he was.

In fact, I’m going to declare it: Jeff Buckley would have been the most insufferable, exhausting, self-indulgent boyfriend ever.

I'd still pash him though.

x

DAY 80: VINTAGE UNICORNS…

DAY 80: VINTAGE UNICORNS…

Is there anything better than a vintage garment that you feel was made for you?

You scan the rail and your eyes lock on it’s bright colour and pattern. It’s lust at first sight. You’ve been doing this long enough to know what you like and you can spot it within a 0.2 second scan. You skim your hand over and feel the quality and weight of the fabric. Not cheap, not polyester, not itchy or likely to make you sweat buckets. You pick it up and pull it out. No unexpected surprises in the form of ugly faux zippers, or cut outs. You eye it up and down, the width of the arms, the breadth of the shoulders, and you reckon, you just reckon it might fit. Maybe. Fingers crossed. So you take yourself away into the changing room. Slip off your current jacket. And slide your new crush off it’s hanger. You take a big breath and hope for the best. This is the moment of truth. Fingers, wrist, arm, elbow, all though the first sleeve. That’s a start. Keep sliding up past your fleshy upper arm, which so often is an issue on old garments – but before you even think about it too much, it’s up and on. Second sleeve. You panic as you feel a slight tightness and restriction across the shoulders. But you give the lapels a little outwards tug, releasing a wee bunch up and ta-dah. You’re sorted. It fits like a glove. Check your angles in the mirror. Do a little turn. As David says, Fashion, turn to the left! Fashion, turn to the right! As you do this you do a quick scan through the rest of your wardrobe – what will this go with, will it go with anything at all? Skirts and hats, necklaces and dresses flash before your eyes. You hit six matches and you stop. You’re safe. It’s a match. It’s better than that. It’s the vintage unicorn. Perfect in every way, to the point that you swear it was made for you in a past life and fate has now realigned the two of you. Swipe of a card. And now you are as one. Fashion soulmates.

x

DAY 79: RUN…

DAY 79: RUN…

CW: Weight loss, shitty relationships

When he went all quiet and sulky on me for three hours, and I begged and pleaded and cried at him to tell me what was wrong, what I had done, what could I do, he eventually told me that he thought I was getting too fat. So then after I cried and sobbed a whole lot more and told him I would do better that I would change for him* then I stopped eating meals and instead I started walking a lot more then that walk turned into a jog and then that jog became a run and well that was how I became a runner.

And I ran and ran and ran, every morning and every night. Before work, after work, lunchtimes and in the weekends. I fed my eternal hunger pangs with laps around the park. I dealt with my feelings of hurt, insecurity and fears by stomping at them under my feet. And with every kilometre I ran I felt like I lost a kilogram and got inched closer to his undying love and approval.

I was never a fast, lithe, or elegant runner. Every step was a clunky pounding on the pavement. My knees hurt. My back hurt. I was not a natural in any way shape or form, but what I lacked in skill I made up for in an inclination towards obsessive compulsive behaviours.

So I ran and I ran and I ran and then one blistering hot morning in January I ran an entire half marathon.

And he was there, waiting for me, as I limped across the finish line with my busted, swollen, knee. Me, the last across the line by a good twenty minutes.

He hugged my bony body tight and told me he was proud of me.

In eight years that was first time and last time that he ever said that.

In the car on the way home, I ate a single green dinosaur lolly, and promptly vomited.

He never asked if I was okay.

x

* OH MY FUCKING GOD WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DAY 78: TAROT – WEEK 07.08…

DAY 78: TAROT – WEEK 07.08…

A three card reading for the week ahead:

1. III CUPS
Success. This card involves creative fulfilment, projects and relationships surrounding these endeavours. It calls on the energy of the creative muses (music, art, theatre) and signifies that if you are involved in, or pursue, any of these things – then progress is being made and you have found something that lets you express your feelings, fill creative needs, and will bring happiness and fulfilment.

2. KING OF CUPS
An older man, who will be of assistance and guidance, and it would be wise to listen to him. He may be in the past or immediate future, if not here at present. If you don’t think that this card relates to a specific individual then the card signifies intuition, correct use of feelings and judgement, and fair play.

3. IV CUPS
Pause. You are feeling unhappy and / or unfulfilled at present. A case of the blues may be obscuring the positives and excitement at present, and bringing cloudiness and uncertainty. It’s a time to look inwards and check that your own negativity isn't feeling this and check your outlook, as the answers may lie within, and you may be the only one holding you back and obscuring your judgement.

SUMMARY:
Three cards all in the same suit is a very strong message. The cups relate very heavily with emotions, relationships, decisions and feelings. The appearance of all three support my current emotions and state of mind.
Let’d call it the post-holiday-blues (amongst other things).
I also had a repeat of last week’s IV cups. Last week when I drew the card, my blues hadn't set in…but a few days later they did. And now, back at Monday, I’m in it. And that advice to check myself and my own outlook feels very prudent.
One thing I’ve been getting a lot of joy, peace an fulfilment from this past week, as I have been working through mixed emotions, has been my creative projects – music, art, writing. So III Cups is a lovely omen and reassurance that this is the right way to channel my energy.
I think these feelings may linger for a while longer…but if, as ever, I follow my gut, intuition, and put my energy into my creative pursuits, I trust that I'l be just fine.

x