Category: Winter

Long to belong x

 

Is the long winter, oversized eighties era coat finally coming back?

 

Apart from their ability to gather up leaves whilst walking down steps.  It’s a huge thumbs up from here.

Laters, Kate x

Ice, ice baby!

 

We’re heading to the slopes. Can’t wait! Although this will be the year that the children will leave me trailing in their fast floating ice crystals.  But such is the natural way of the world – I will still fight them down the slope with good grace!

 

 

But of course, one considers all the cool outfits it’s possible to buy.

 

 

But the truth is, on the slopes, anything goes.  Because you’re not there as a fashion statement – we’re all effectively wearing portable eiderdowns – but to stay warm and have fun, fun, fun!


 

I’ve been pulling all our ski gear out of the cupboards in preparation: My Jacket and salopettes are a cast off from The Husband and are over thirty years old, we have ski socks and thermals of a similar vintage.  The Husband’s set marks thirty years.  The children are now in my discards at a youthful twenty years.  We’re given the message that technology has moved on and we need to move with the times, that this is progress…. but lets be honest, apart from when we were living in Italy, despite their age, none of these clothes has yet seen a years wear.  And we schlepped all this gear to Finland last year, skiing in minus eighteen, minus twenty…it can’t be that bad: It proves buy well, buy once.

 

 

So whilst the above pictures look great and dandy and represent my dreams. This is more the reality.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

As is this!

Laters, Kate x

Baubles x

Each year the aim is to hunt down and buy one new decoration that has the ability to tug heart and tummy in a warm, I must have that, embrace.  This year, it’s a skating rabbit from Graham and Greene – there’s something about the retro tinsel, the nostalgic pose, the subtle colours that makes me smile.  In fact, Graham and Green possibly richest vein of baubles this year….

(All pics Graham and Green and Pinterest)

Simple pleasures.

Laters, Kate x

Statement x

Upstairs, in the furthest cupboard, I have some vintage clothes stored away for the day when Bella wishes to experiment.  In amongst them is a full length chocolate brown velvet single breasted coat with the sort of split up the back that made you feel like a swash buckling highway man when walking down a street.  The decadence of the material felt such a statement of the times, it was hard to see it having a real purpose again.

(All pics Pinterest)

But there is a point of view that says when the world is going to the dogs, party like there’s no tomorrow….

Laters, Kate x

Projecting x

 

Never have winter coats been so exciting or offered such a visual treat – wear black all season, and you’ll still make a statement. Gone is military uniformity, symmetry and blending and say hello to loose cuts, colour and freedom of expression.

But be prepared for the odd gem that’s breaks the rule…

 

(All pics Pinterest)

Because this year, there are no rules…

Laters, Kate x

Trend alert x

 


There’s this pair of boots and they have this little bit of magic about them which is hard to define, but I think it’s the seductive combination of the white heavily ridged sole and the moccasin line of stitching round the toe; that mash between something hard and something soft giving birth to the perfect boot.

The boots are vaguely reminiscent of the moccasin,  a design classic that’s slipped down the must have radar, but I suspect is going to grow again, call it a zeitgeist in the air: All they need is a little move away from the flat crepe sole to hit the modern magpie sweet spot.

 

You can buy these babies from this company, though be warned – they are offered in vegan leather and ship from China, but the quality is better than you might expect – I have a pair, mainly because I haven’t found any others like them, and I’ve been looking.

 

This time next year might be a different story…

Laters, Kate x

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 temperatures..it’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 three amigos x

This school year and certainly the start of 2018 has been tainted by the unavoidable: Our eldest facing the horror of Year 6 secondary school exams.  A hideous time and one of the horrible consequences of living in London where there are too many children chasing too few places.

As a parent you can make the decision whether to join the pressure party or take a more fatalistic approach – for many reasons, our choice is the later.  But even the choice of a relaxed attitude is not without it’s mental fuck ups: Guilt, doubt, even fear – We chose this school route for them – nobody put a gun to our heads – and when the kids are lining up to go into another exam it’s not easy to stand firm against a serious onslaught of questioning anxiety.

A shining light during this time has been our weekly cold water swims at the open air lido in Tooting.  Started at the beginning of September as a conscious way to replicate and appreciate what the kids were going to go through, it was meant as a challenge – could the three of us swim through the year without wetsuits? We’ve watched the saturated colours of summer turn to the stark realisation of winter, leaves turn and mists fall.

We kept going, even when it meant swimming in the sea in October.

Each week is the unspoken question – is this the week we fail?

And each week, as we emerge newly pink it’s like we’ve been fitted with a new coat of bespoke armour ready to face the world: Bulletproof mate, bulletproof.

It’s been a joy, a pleasure, life affirming and life saving.

I swear our blood is a different colour now.

Laters, Kate x

Snuggly does it..

I looked out the window this morning and just for a fraction of a second thought it was snowing, except it was the last of the leaves caught in a gust and spiralling downwards.  But it’s that sort of time now when evenings draw in early and the weather sits like a duvet over the house, dictating minimal movement. The plus side is the need for comfort – good food, hot drinks, roaring fires and of course, soft, encompassing textures, some of which you can take outside with you, a bit like taking your house out for the day…

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Bring it on.

Laters, Kate x

Wonderland x

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We’re taking the kids to the slopes for the first time this Christmas – well, I say this Christmas – we leave on the 30th.  But that’s not much time to move from turkeys and tinsel to long johns and salopettes..

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(All pictures Pinterest)

If only I could pack this little lot in my suitcase…

Laters, Kate x