Dog Days x
Dog days…or perhaps the title should be: Cycle of Fat..the story of a mother’s waistline?..
Y’see every term starts with good intentions…healthy eating, increase of exercise and determination. And every time it all slips then slides away…why??
1. Because the start of every term requires unblocking the dam of jobs that have been stored up throughout the holidays..to the term time..when of course you’ll have time..hoho
2. It takes a while to crack the routine again: Early mornings, new after school clubs, hockey sticks, gum guards, out-grown shoes, lost PE kits.. but you do and it gets there..so you take the plunge and add in the exercise..adapt to the new routine and wait in hope for the endorphins to kick in (exercise equals endorphins equals happy mum equals not shooting the kids..or so they say) it takes it’s time – no pain, no gain..but you get there.
3. You take pride in the transforming you. Almost back to pre-second baby weight. Yay!
4. Then disaster strikes: School holidays..back to cooking through the day, no walking to and from school, cupboards now over-flowing with kids ‘stuff’ and temptation, meals out, no time to go to pilates or a run – no babysitters, everything is slower now you’re working as a pack, and generally there’s a festival of sorts: Christmas, Easter, Summer Holiday which means much
much more alcohol and calories are tripled doubled..
5. So in the time it takes for the holiday to end…you’re back to where you started..
I was talking about this, trying to pin the butterfly down with a friend who’s a personal trainer: She’s got all the stuff in her house to do 15 mins a day to keep the dogs at bay (we’re talking fat cells..)..but she can’t make that mental/physical jump either. On these child-centric weeks it’s incredibly hard to focus the mind and do exercise ‘properly’ so the brain says, why bother, we just want to enjoy this time? We decided it made a difference when you could do activities with your kids, like tennis..but that means waiting till they’re of an age when it becomes worth while. Mine are a bit young and without the stamina, and you really don’t want to book a court just to adjudicate a fight. But we agreed that the problem is, if you don’t even try, the middle-age waist-line just builds up..and so does your age..I can confirm, the older you get, the harder it is to shift..
The truth is, heart on sleeve and tits on a platter: Exercise at this stage of life isn’t for improvement and a parade of rude health, it’s just to standstill..otherwise when the time comes to finally be able to play a genuine game of tennis with the kids…I’ll be the one oozing gently on my mobility scooter..
Food for thought..
Laters, Kate x
The Sales x
Can ideas grow old and desires outdated? Tastes certainly change and a subtle alteration can update the mundane, but how fast does fashion really run? Does a Season-behind-item really matter when the eye-watering price tag is suitably slashed? So whispers the seductive red-lipped temptation that is the January Sales, hip-swaying us in with a promise and a kiss to that shopper’s minefield of potential disaster and paradise..pick it right and get the prize for half the dosh…get it wrong and it’s a turkey turd festering in the darkest corner of your wardrobe forever..
I always thought the January Sales were the perfect opportunity to invest in a classic..the softest cashmere jumper, a timeless camel coat..an iconic silk blouse. But I’ve now seen the light: The Sales are not about anonymity and being conservative, but taking a risk and finding that one standout piece to love and hold forever, something cutting edge, different, unusual with independent thought, something that can mix the refined with everyday. And pieces like that takes time to find..
Thankfully, the fashion posts of the last year have provided a fine quality control to navigate the choppy waters of desire against fads and fly-by-nights, and the Collection that remains an earworm my head is Peter Pilotto AW15..so I took a deep breath and secretly went on a coat hunt – and this is where technology now makes such a difference…with websites such as ‘Search the Sales’ you can pin-point exactly what you’re looking for, they find it for the cheapest price available….and then (thankfully for Christopher Credit) you find it’s already sold out..
Next stop, Ebay…
Laters, Kate x
It’s a sign of the times when fur both becomes common place and mixed with casual fashion..camo trousers and casual fur jacket: an unexpected marriage made in heaven, worn here by the iconic Jenna Lyons.
But I’m curious: Why the turn fur acceptance turn-around? Is it because faux fur is so good we can’t spot the difference, giving free-reign to choosing the real stuff? Or maybe all these photos are of Jenna in fake. But I don’t think so…
Is it that fur has moved with the political times and is now a tightly controlled industry where cruelty has been banished? Or is there a leniency to vintage fur under the heading ‘eco-friendly’ in a wasteful planet? I just don’t know..
All I do know, is fabulous as Jenna looks, this outfit would’ve caused an outrage even ten years ago…so why not now?
Laters, Kate x
Life Lessons x
Bella with the lovely Nathalie
Wednesday was the night of the Exhibition to celebrate the life of my cousin Sam Archer-Fayet and to raise money for SMArt. We made the executive decision to take Bella with us even though it was a school night as a) I wanted her to see Mummy’s work and b) I wanted to introduce her to the excitement and sparkle of a razzle dazzle night in a safe, controlled way..
It was a sharp contrast to the previous week when Bella and I had argued at her school – it had been a bleak, stormy autumn night – the first night where it was dark by the time it came to picking them up from their after-school clubs which I hadn’t anticipated so we had no lights for our bikes which meant walking them home and to top it all, it was raining. Halfway home Bella announced she’d left her PE bag behind in the drama room with her school uniform and school shoes in. Disaster. We went back. Rather than face the hassle of locking up the bikes again, I asked Charlie to wait with them whilst Bella and I dashed into school – I would then wait in the hall where he could see me, whilst Bella ran and got her bag. ‘Off you go’ I said, ‘But I don’t want to’ said Bella.’Come on – I’ve got Charlie outside in the dark and rain and I won’t know where your bag is.’ Reluctantly she went. Then came back with no bag – ‘There’s a class in the drama room’ ‘Well, knock on the door’ ‘I can’t, I can’t’ By now I was fuming…so I explain to Charlie and march her off to the drama room, knock on the door, say ‘I’m sorry to interrupt but can my daughter grab the bag she’s forgotten’ then gesture to Bella to go inside. ‘I can’t, I can’t’ says Bella, backing off down the hallway. I turn into a towering inferno of mummy-rage. ‘IF YOU DO NOT GO IN THEIR RIGHT THIS MINUTE BELLA BENTLEY THERE WILL BE NO POCKET MONEY FOR A MONTH.’ A teacher came out and handed me the bag..
But I was so livid I couldn’t speak to her for an hour..it touched a real parenting nerve..the philosophy of our house is that confidence, self-respect and manners are the cornerstones – even more important than good grades. This episode put a shining spotlight on some seriously wonky foundations that I had no idea were there. I hadn’t handled it well either..so when I’d calmed down we sat down in my study so I could explain why I felt so cross and disappointed. It’s not an easy subject..but I wanted her to know that at some point we all feel shy or scared of a situation but it’s the way we deal with it that matters. We came up with three coping strategies:
1. Rehearse what you’re going to say for both a positive and negative result and always be very polite – it always gets you so much further.
2. Think of the most confident person you know and pretend to be them.
3. Worse case scenario, imagine the intimidating person in their underwear..
Fast-forward to Wednesday night and Bella was asked if she would choose the numbers in the raffle.
She did a brilliant job – cool as a cucumber, confidently reading the numbers out to a full gallery of adults..I was so impressed..she got the biggest bear-hug afterwards and she whispered in my ear..’I remembered what you said’…
My picture also sold..so a top night all round. One I won’t forget in a hurry..
Laters, Kate x
7 Random Facts..
1. My husband thinks I’m a witch. I don’t know…but I knew he was going to be a special person before I met him..I heard his name and there was this frisson in the air..
2. The first time I did meet him he did a stork impression.
3. The second time I met him he did a stork impression and I knew I’d marry him..but he didn’t ask me out.
4. The third time…I had a black eye and 4 stitches in my eyebrow from roller blading into a park bench. He still didn’t ask me out. I thought I was going to have to go on bended knee to my friend who knew him and ask for his number..he called the next day.
5. Without a doubt, he is the nicest person I have ever met..and he’ll hate me for using that word. But it’s true.
6. On meeting him for the first time, my mother announced: ‘If you ever hurt that man I will cut you up into small pieces and fry you in hot oil’. I think he got the royal seal of approval.
7. Sometimes he reads this Blog. So does my mother.
Laters, Kate x
Oh What a Beautiful Morning..
How do you get dressed in the morning?
I have to listen to the ten o’clock news the night before to hear what the weather will be otherwise my wardrobe obligingly falls apart.
It didn’t happen last night. I was on the phone to a friend till gone midnight..
And today is a tough sartorial challenge: School drop off, run back home – write this (failed: Internet crashed. Typical,) out on bike to Art class (new venture: love it), back on bike to pilates class (another new venture: Finding muscles I never knew existed…at least I think they’re muscles..), school pick-up and a mum’s night out mashed with Book Club (yep. double booked..) The evening can wait, but now? first thought: Lycra running leggings with birks plus loose tee plus open denim shirt with rolled sleeves, possibly a large scarf depending on weather (damn 10 o’clock news). Except I can’t find the leggings in the mountainous piles of washing and time ‘n’ school gates wait for no man. Even the kids are dressed before me. Nearest equivalent? A pair of drawstring brushed cotton navy pyjama trousers…roll the legs up, roll down the waist and I’m sure they’ll look boho something…accessorise neatly with all the inner reserves of chutzpah available on a thursday morning, add a pair of dark sunnies ‘n’ walk the walk ..
Do you think it matters they’re actually the husband’s pjs??
Laters, Kate x
(Ear cuff by Ryan Storer, now sold out – Boo!)
Walked into the utility room this morning and found the sock box all over the floor. Again. How many times have I said to the kids if you go for a rummage – leave the room as you find it – if you disturb anything PUT IT BACK? I start moaning to the Husband who’s trying to get dressed. ‘It’s not a big thing, but it’s representative of a larger issue,’ I say. No response. I tell myself don’t linger on the negatives but everyone needs a rant at some point..in the evenings he gets to offload work on me so a voice says, why can’t I moan about my work? I’m the first to say mines not the job that brings in the money, but sometimes it’s the hidden work that holds a family together: It’s the monotonous, grunge, brain numbing stuff that’s like groundhog day every day except it largely remains invisible as if fairies have been at work. So I say, ‘it’s the invisible work I do that needs a bit of respect’. Still no response. I can feel the emotional plates shift like a red rag to a bull…’That’s just perfect, I’m so invisible (read taken for granted) no-one even hears me..I don’t want practical solutions, I don’t want a conference call or a European Summit but just an acknowledgement or a grunt will do’…nadah…I continue, climbing upon my very high horse..’I consider the work of a mother one of the most vital on the planet. It’s the foundations stone that builds future lives, holding them together, keeping them moving forward in a (generally) clean and (hopefully) happy manner..it’s seven days a week, 365 days a year and for all this I get..nothing..zip..zilch..I live off your income and get not one iota of recognition from the government, not a tax break, not nothing..and as for society…well if this is indicative of society’s attitude..'(voice rising in crescendo..)
He pulls out his headphones..’Did you say something, Darling’?
Men. I really just give up.
And from now on I’ll be charging the kids 10p off their pocket money every time they mess up my utility room. A girls gotta earn her money somehow….
Laters, Kate x
Why do you Write?
An apology and a confession: I find it hard to respond to Blog Awards, not because I don’t believe in them or feel the honour but because the choosing and linking to 15 plus Blogs is such a long process. But I was tagged by the talented Laura at Buckle Button Zip for a Blog hop that focus’s on the process of writing. I loved the post she wrote and I was intrigued to write my own answers. It helps it’s a two-man handover..
The Hop has a series of questions:
1. What am I working on? I write for my Blog, another Blog and provide the media content for a shoe company. My days already start pretty early (5.50 am on a heavy day) and finish pretty late (11?) with work and life squeezed between being a full time mum so I find it hard to add any more. Could I write anything more? It’s a question I’ve asked myself..I wrote, a long time ago now, 17 chapters based of stories from my Grandmother and have 3 volumes of poetry (!)..there are always ideas bubbling. Maybe one day – but for now I value the discipline of writing at least one post every day.
How does my writing differ? There’s a little (read big) spark in my heart that wants to prove that you can have intelligent writing about fashion. I have a horror of superficiality, hate dumbing down and believe in the beauty of language. I can’t spell for toffee, my grammar is non-existent but I love the rhythm of words and the pictures they make.
Why do I write what I do? I’m in a lucky position where I can be a stay at home mum, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need my own identity – something to claim as just me and writing does that. I don’t think I could do it every day if I didn’t love it – the freedom, the escapism, the ability to skip over water and broken glass. it’s both an indulgence and a drug. I’m a butterfly choosing the bits I love and avoiding what I don’t want to tread in..but always underlined with discipline.
How does my writing process work? I read a lot and try to digest it. My notebooks are everything – they tip me into another world and stop creative fatigue. I write ideas, thoughts, groups of words in longhand. Sometimes they don’t even relate to what I’m writing about but they’re all stored away. Often I’ll wonder and wander and read something wrong, my own handwriting or the written word..’I began to lose myself in consecutive nights out’..except I see it as ‘constructive nights out’ but I like it – it’s the balance to losing oneself, so I write it down. And with a mistake, I walk back to reality.
I want to thank Laura, it was an absolute pleasure to have the baton passed on from a true wordsmith. And now I have to hand the honour over and with only two spots, this wasn’t easy. I’ve chosen two long-term favourite people/writers that hold a special place in my heart:
Laura Lynn: Because writing for her is as natural as breathing.
Jackie Mallon: Because she knows exactly how to get to the beating heart of the matter and take you along for the ever-changing ride.
Laters, Kate x