Ice Water Challenge x

There was this post about the cold water challenge three of us set ourselves in September: Could we swim in the open air unheated pool without wetsuits through the winter? Then last week, the Beast from the East dropped the temperature and raised the question could we rise to the ultimate challenge in the snow?

The air temperature was minus three, the water was one degree but both the pool and sky were an inviting blue.

For those that asked, no the changing cubicles are not heated and are open to the elements.  But this helps – you get acclimatised and your core remains constant.  Strangely the two moments of biggest shock are when you’re changing into a cozzie on the cold concrete floor(why-the-f***-am-I-doing-this-I-must-be-mad) to when you’re changing back again from a soaking wet swimsuit and you’re feeling fine – your whole perception of temperature and what cold is has changed – it is literally mind altering, though it helps that there is a sauna to run to to warm up for a good twenty minutes, but you’re still walking around in the wet in silly’s a large pool.

Oh how we laugh in the face of adversity!

The temperature categories for cold water swimming are anything above five degrees is cold water, five degrees and below is ice water.  This was the first time we’d actually swum with ice.

Sophie heading in – there’s no hanging around – commitment is the name of the game.

My turn!

Adding a little bit more magic to a special day: The life guard serenading our swim!

We only effing did it!

If you’d told me in the summer that this is what we’d be doing in the snow, I’d never have believed you. But this bonkers, wonderful, incredible experience has steadily proved that anything is possible: You don’t have to be the best, the fastest, or the winner…you just have to do it. And preferably with a great mate.


Laters, Kate x

The Oscars 2018

With dresses it’s personal, but given timeless elegance with a touch of vintage or eyeball hogging extravaganza the first will win every time.  Like Laura Dern in Calvin Klein by Appointment pure cool, sleek understatement.

Looking with new eyes, never is the difference between men and women more visual than on Oscar night, hashtag – when will we see a man in a dress? This is Gal Gaddot in Givenchy with just the right amount of flapper girl swing.

2018 marks another year with little experimentation, hence Haley Bennett in Christian Dior makes my best dressed list.  A brave choice and with any luck, the current PC storm will suppress any bush trimming innuendos. Who knows?

Zoey Deutch in Elie Saab Couture sneaked in because it shouldn’t work, but it does.

(All pics Vogue)


Phoebe Waller Bridge, a particular icon of mine, looking demure in Vionnet.  Except I lay good money she chose the print to match her beauty spot and trod the carpet giggling inside…Go Phoebe!


Laters, Kate x



By degrees x



By degrees, dungarees – a trend prediction for the summer.

Brought to life by Meryl Streep in Mama Mia, Meryl proved all the barriers to style are in the mind.

Which doesn’t stop them being a marmite garment. Would you?

Laters, Kate x

Street style x

Milan fashion week street: It’s all about the statement coat.

(All pics, Jonathan Daniel Pryce, Vogue)


How radical to see them all being worn. Sign of the times hashtag-commonsense.

Laters, Kate x

That dress x

So this dress has been causing controversy again, although not quite the same way as it’s ancestor did.
When Liz Hurley stepped out in her Versace dress in 1994 for the premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral she was an overnight sensation, though not for her acting skills – she wasn’t in the film, her then boyfriend Hugh Grant was – she made the headlines for being an object of desire.
But it wasn’t the picture of Jennifer in her dress that made my eyebrows raise.  It was this one, standing with four men.
Jennifer Lawrence has defended herself on Facebook writing:

‘Wow. I don’t really know where to get started on this “Jennifer Lawrence wearing a revealing dress in the cold” controversy. This is not only utterly ridiculous, I am extremely offended. That Versace dress was fabulous, you think I’m going to cover that gorgeous dress up with a coat and a scarf? I was outside for 5 minutes. I would have stood in the snow for that dress because I love fashion and that was my choice.
This is sexist, this is ridiculous, this is not feminism. Over- reacting about everything someone says or does, creating controversy over silly innocuous things such as what I choose to wear or not wear, is not moving us forward. It’s creating silly distractions from real issues. Get a grip people. Everything you see me wear is my choice. And if I want to be cold THATS MY CHOICE TOO!’

To Jennifer I say, many of us don’t realise the level of sexism we have internalised. We are conditioned by it, educated in it and live out our lives in it.  You wore this dress because of an insidious undercurrent of rules that dictates female Hollywood stars should wear such dresses, full stop, regardless of the expense, the quality, the label, the fashion statement, the weather, or even what the men are wearing.  You were expected to dress like this, you knew this and unquestioningly fulfilled that obligation.  Where the ongoing problem lies is that you don’t see your behaviour as influenced and that’s where the sadness lies, because every time our daughters see a women, particularly a women proud to hold herself up as a female icon, refuse to acknowledge such an event or puts her well being second, or does something that reinforces the idea that being object of desire/cleaning/childcare is a woman’s primary role, we let them down.  In the words of Charles Boudelaire: 

The loveliest trick of the devil is to persuade you he doesn’t exist.

Open your eyes. The truth is, there should have been five human beings standing there, not four men and a beautifully packaged piece of tempting meat.

Laters, Kate x

Milktooth x

There are still things that science can’t explain, like why one pair of earrings is just so much more than another.

But it’s something that Ernestina and Mark Potts, from Milktooth understand.  Their jewellery is a celebration of the have more, buy less philosophy.  Built on an eclectic mix of vintage and own designs their philosophy is simple: embrace your own style, buy the things you love, feel amazing.  Add in the Zeitgeist of desire and it’s a heady mix.

(All pics Milktooth)

The cherry on the proverbial are the sensible price points (£30-£60) and effortless cool which means this is a name hidden in plain view for those oh so difficult people to buy presents for.


That is, if you’re prepared to give them away….


Mi piace.

Laters, Kate x

Outside x

Small, brave signs of spring are appearing: delicate snowdrops, sturdy crocuses and longer days. Which is maybe why thoughts are turning to the outside and in particular window boxes: Such a simple way to mix lush colour with urban grime.

The decision of which colour to paint the exterior woodwork of the house is also edging ever closer:  Soon the weather won’t be an excuse. Go dark?

Or go neutral?

Put the two decisions together and it’s an interesting conundrum: Which combination looks better zinc, black or terracotta for the window box against the neutral?

Or the grey?

Why is it so hard? Damn.

Laters, Kate x