Category: Winter

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

Crystal Balls….

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There’s a change in the wind..can you smell it? It’s something I didn’t think I’d sense again, but it’s there and getting stronger.  Like the White Witch of Narnia, the power of the White-Company-scandi-minimalist-Christmas is finally waning and being replaced with bright, retro, seventies glam.  This year on my tables, all the candles will be warm…and red…

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Fairy lights will be multicoloured and loud.

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And the tree will be smothered in tinsel and those funny silver threads once again.

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It’s time to embrace the kitsch and the vulgar..

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Out with the bland and in with the true!

Laters, Kate x

Still Thinking Ahead x

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One of the surprise pieces I bought this year was a vintage 1940’s coat.  A surprise because of the shape..it’s dark brown sheepskin with pure american football style shoulders.  And my, those shoulders make you feel gooooooooood…I call it my bitch coat…

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Perfectly balancing out the flare..

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The shorter shape works too..

I think I need another one..

Laters, Kate x

Haute Spot x

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I have a sentimental weakness for the twinkling lights of Christmas – come tomorrow night, ours will be packed away for another year, marking the end of what has been a really rather lovely Christmas break…if self-indulgence is an art, there’s been just the right mix of celebrations and duvet days: The school routine and early mornings kick-off tomorrow and  are going to be a seismic shock to the system..but now, excesses be damned, at least there’s something back in the tank to start the juggling again..and the harsh reality of New Year resolutions can wait another week: I like this feeling of cosy hibernation..

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But if I had money to burn in this post-Christmas-spending-month-of-bill-contemplation, this fire-pit would be the object of my desires: Created by hand by the Artist Melissa Crisp and inspired by the north woods of Minnesota where the artist’s mother grew up it’s a living, breathing, visual delight..

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Imagine the leaping shadows holding the cold of a winter frost at bay – that wonderful mix of being out in the elements, but warm…But until such times as the Lottery turns in my favour (as The Husband pointed out: would help if a bought a ticket), I shall just dream: There’re enough memories to keep flames burning…and simple candlelight and open fires aren’t a bad replacement..particularly if the candles are Jo Malone..sigh…and so once more into the darkness of winter we go..

 

Laters, Kate x

Toast x

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The new Toast Lookbook is a world of languid self-possession with sleepy knowing eyes.

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The pastel colours inform the story..

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The dark silhouette packs a punch.

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Simple, durable, classy classics..

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They’re also having a fabulous Archive Sale – but be warned, things go fast..

 Laters, Kate x

Delicious.. x

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(Scot Mills on Strictly on Sat)

Who would’ve thought that a TV take on Fester could produce such fertile fashion soil? But then this is Strictly..and I am a fan..

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That scarf and the way it’s pinned? it highlights an unexpected similarity to 1920s opera coats, reverencing past angles and structure.  I so want to find a faux fur scarf now and add it to my winter coat…and how refreshing to see the perfect vehicle for decadent, vintage broaches…my jewellery box is smiling just at the thought..

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The perfect example of the way something unexpected influences the way you process things and sparks the imagination: Looking, liking….lusting. Now the hunt starts…

Laters, Kate x